You don’t see that many hangers of beech in North Yorkshire, its soils are too clayey. They don’t like getting their feet wet preferring dry alkaline soils like the chalk hills of Southern England. In the north, beech is considered a non-native species. The Cleveland Way and Coast to Coast footpaths go through this little beech plantation in Clain Wood before crossing Scugdale (or after depending on which way you are walking). It’s a lovely open patch of woodland, aloof trunks with smooth grey bark and very little undergrowth on the floor, any young shoots are smothered by the carpet of leaf litter and shaded out by the think summer canopy. Only at the edges has the bracken managed to make an impression. Beech leaves are among the last to succumb to the October gales needing several hard frosts before falling and losing the wood of its colours of Autumn.
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