Out & About …

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

Category: North York Moors

  • The PM’s Gaffe — Reflections on a Wet Morning Walk

    The PM’s Gaffe — Reflections on a Wet Morning Walk

    The morning walk began with a dreary wetness, and soon I found myself struggling through an encroaching jungle of bracken. I also began musing on the nature of television in my youth; this is in light of our esteemed Prime Minister’s blunder last week. I recalled a friend’s parents acquiring a colour television set. The…

  • The Peasants’ Revolt — A Local Connection

    The Peasants’ Revolt — A Local Connection

    On this day in 1381, Richard II met the leaders of Wat Tyler’s Peasants’ Revolt on Blackheath. The rebels stormed the Tower of London and entered without resistance. This revolt, though ultimately a failure, came to be seen as a harbinger of the decline of serfdom in medieval England. It heightened awareness among the upper…

  • A Sea of Cotton on Newon Moor

    A Sea of Cotton on Newon Moor

    One of the summer spectacles of acid bogs and wet heaths is the Common cottongrass, Eriophorum angustifolium. This plant, with its silky white seed-heads, creates a striking scene, whitening whole patches of bog. Beyond this visual charm, Cottongrass is rather unremarkable and underutilised. Efforts to produce usable thread from the seed-plumes have failed due to…

  • Rescue at Roseberry: The 1929 Shale Slide

    Rescue at Roseberry: The 1929 Shale Slide

    Back in sunny Cleveland, and I am in search of a new morsel of information to accompany a familiar sight. On this day in 1929, Ralph Elliott, a miner from Great Ayton, had a narrow escape. Working with several others at the “Roseberry mine bank bottom”, he ascended a spoil tip to release shale. Suddenly,…

  • Beyond Rabbits, Lies Plastic—The Cost of Trees Guards

    Beyond Rabbits, Lies Plastic—The Cost of Trees Guards

    Wandering through Newton Wood on this beautiful morning, I felt the long-awaited arrival of spring. Sunlight gently filtered through the canopy, illuminating the lush greenery of wild garlic blanketing the woodland floor. Ascending further, I passed through an azure sea of bluebells, heralding the season alongside the blooming rowan and holly. On Roseberry Common, this…

  • A Little Bit of Bread and no Cheese

    A Little Bit of Bread and no Cheese

    The song of the yellowhammer resonates with a quaint charm, often likened to ‘a little bit of bread and no cheese,’ a delightful call immortalised by Enid Blyton in her tales and verses. Males serenade the countryside with their melodies during spring and summer, adorning our open spaces. Resembling a canary in appearance, the males…

  • Tripsdale Head — from Monastic Grange to 17th Century Shieling

    Tripsdale Head — from Monastic Grange to 17th Century Shieling

    This morning I had the chance to visit Tripsdale Head in the North York Moors, an area I’ve often admired from afar at Low Cable Stones — visible in the photograph on the skyline. It looked an inviting spot oozing with history amidst its lush pastures. Tripsdale rises on a gentle slope on the moorland…

  • A Giant’s Tantrum — The Making of Blakey Topping

    A Giant’s Tantrum — The Making of Blakey Topping

    Legend has it that Blakey Topping, that iconic North York Moors hill, isn’t just a natural wonder — it’s the epic handiwork of a grumpy giant! Volunteering with the National Trust, I’ve been helping repair fences around the north end, right where the legend begins. The story goes that Wade, a giant with a temper…

  • Rapeseed Transforms the Vale of Cleveland

    Rapeseed Transforms the Vale of Cleveland

    The expansive fields of rapeseed, ablaze with its yellow flowers, command this view of the vale of Cleveland from Battersby Moor, presenting a picturesque mosaic of greens and yellows. Rapeseed, grown for its oil, a staple in cooking, fuel, and other products, graces landscapes worldwide, transforming into a breathtaking spectacle during its bloom. Easby Moor,…

  • The Silent Standoff — An Unexpected Thrill of a Roe Deer Encounter

    The Silent Standoff — An Unexpected Thrill of a Roe Deer Encounter

    I lack the patience for birding or hiding for hours in wait of a fleeting glimpse of wildlife. However, stumbling upon the sight of a bird or creature feels like a rare privilege. Such was the case this morning when I spotted a yearling roe buck. Or rather, he spotted me. We engaged in a…