Out & About …

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

Stanch Bullen and Round Hill

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.



2 responses to “Stanch Bullen and Round Hill”

  1. Chris avatar

    The reason these trees were planted was due to those who live opposite Fairy Cross Plain, the actual name of the larger field that fronts the public road, these residents made it impossible to graze cattle on the land, opening the gate to let the livestock out or turning off their water supply. The traditional woodland is named Mansio and if you look carefully on mapping it is intended to join woodland above Woodhead Farm, then the acreage of conifer types at Fryup Gill, along from this location newly planted trees, then onto the other side of Fairy Cross facing towards Houlsyke more established woodland. An aerial view will show continuity in time. Round Hill itself has reduced in stature due to rabbit habitation, it is eroding. Attempts over many years have been made to control this, again the gamekeeper residing opposite Fairy Cross Plain deters anyone who works at reducing the numbers, claiming they are not allowed to shoot there. Not true as the owners of the land have full authority of the land and now have determined shooters who regularly attend for established control. The better option was for woodland rather than allow the land to grow wild, without grazing this provides good management, with great benefits for wildlife and flood prevention for lower areas in Whitby and York.

  2. Fhithich avatar

    Thanks for that clarification, Chris.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *