I’ve always thought this was Fairy Cross Plain but that is not strictly correct. That name belongs to the col just off to the right, where Little Fryup Dale becomes Great Fryup Dale, where the myth persisted through the centuries as the home of elves and fairies.
The small rounded knoll has a more descriptive name of Round Hill. Behind, the nab is at the east end of the craggy escarpment of Stanch Bullen which gives its name to a band of ironstone although, as far as I know, it has not been mined here.
It’s my first visit to Great Fryup Dale since lockdown began, arriving by bike after a long damp misty descent from Rosedale Head. But it seems the fairies were in a good mood. After an hour or so in the café, blue skies were waiting.
After the summer’s growth, the young saplings are now reaching out of their Tulley tubes. I am still unsure about the planting of this woodland. While I see the need to increase tree coverage to combat climate change, I am not convinced this is the right landscape.
I understand the planting was carried out under the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Scheme operated by the Forestry Commission. No doubt in 20 or 30 years, the woodland, while not yet necessarily fully mature, will undoubtedly have transformed the landscape. But I hope provision has been made for the collection and disposal of these plastic tubes.