Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Category: Little Ayton

  • Clear felling on Little Ayton Moor has opened up super views across Great Ayton Moor all the way to Highcliff Nab

    Clear felling on Little Ayton Moor has opened up super views across Great Ayton Moor all the way to Highcliff Nab

    A light overnight snowfall hides the debris from the forestry work. I guess the remainder of the forestry will go in due course. Great Ayton Moor has a wealth of archaeological features which I’ve posted about many times before. A chambered cairn, a cairnfield , an Iron Age enclosure, and numerous tumuli. Elgee thought that […]

  • Quiz time: what links this photo to the Yangon-Mandalay railway in Myanmar?

    Quiz time: what links this photo to the Yangon-Mandalay railway in Myanmar?

    Myanmar was once a province of British India which, from 1824 to 1948, and was known as British Burma. The British first introduced a railway to Lower Burma in 1877 connecting Rangoon (Yangon) to Prome (Pyay) — 161 miles long. Subsequent developments included, in 1884, a 166 mile line along the Sittaung River from Yangon to […]

  • Little Ayton from Larners Hill

    Little Ayton from Larners Hill

    I suppose most visitors to Great Ayton wouldn’t know where Little Ayton is. You best direct them to Fletcher’s Farm café and when they get there tell them they’ve passed through Little Ayton on the way. It is an unimposing hamlet consisting of around a dozen farms or houses. The ‘centre’, I guess, would be […]

  • A Method for May

    A Method for May

    On this day in 1937 the Bradford Observer ran this little piece in the paper’s  ‘Yorkshire Gossip’ column:— A Method for May. Were you up at 4 o’clock this morning, gathering green branches, rehearsing the steps of your morris, ” feateously footing the hobbyhorse,” and washing your face in the dew ? Perhaps you did […]

  • Lenten Lillies by the Leven

    Lenten Lillies by the Leven

    Lenten Lily is a Yorkshire name for the daffodil, the wild English variety, although I guess these are a cultivated variety. Daffs are poisonous, nevertheless they have been used throughout the centuries for medicinal purposes particularly as a cure for cancer. Hippocrates himself recommended a pessary prepared from daffodils for tumours of the womb. In […]

  • Himalayan balsam on the banks of the Leven

    Himalayan balsam on the banks of the Leven

    The clump of pink flowers on the far bank is Himalayan balsam, a notorious invasive plant, the scourge of conservationists and environmentalists. The plant was particularly rampant on this stretch of the river about six years ago and they did have a blitz to eradicate it but it has returned. There are more clumps further […]

  • The Leven at Little Ayton

    The Leven at Little Ayton

    A tranquil feel to the River Leven this morning down by Holme’s Bridge. And warm too. I was reminded of the halcyon days of early lockdown. The Leven, named after the Celtic water-nymph, ‘Leuan‘. A surprising number of rivers have names deriving from Celtic; surviving in spite of the influence of the Saxons and Scandinavians, […]

  • Ox-bow pond near Holmes Bridge

    Ox-bow pond near Holmes Bridge

    It is perhaps too early to say that Cleveland got off relatively lightly last night from Storm Dennis, as the run-off takes several hours to flow down off the moors to affect river levels. At Little Ayton, the River Leven is high enough to flood a normally dried up ox-bow pond. This is part of […]

  • River Leven, Little Ayton

    River Leven, Little Ayton

    “Sweet vale of Leven! how calm is thy stream, Gliding onwards in beauty like hour’s youngest dream.” Attributed to John Walker Ord by J. Fairfax-Blakeborough in Great Ayton, Stokesley & District, past and present, 1901. The bridge was built sometime in the late 19th-century by The Stockton Forge Makers of Stockton-on-Tees who produced castings and […]

  • Woodpigeons

    Woodpigeons

    A pair of woodpigeons engaged in their nuptial courtship blissfully unaware of the current fury among the farming and shooting communities over whether they can be legally shot. According to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, there are over 5 million breeding pairs of woodpigeon in the UK, a population increase of 134% between […]