Several people have mentioned that the ling is late this year

O the summer time has come
And the trees are sweetly bloomin’
The wild mountain thyme
Grows around the bloomin’ heather
Will ye go, lassie, go?

Several people have mentioned that the ling is late this year.  Fear not, the purple haze is coming, and getting more pronounced by the day.

It may be my imagination but here on Scarth Wood Moor, a National Trust property which, as far as has not been burnt for years, (although I assume it is managed for walked-up grouse shooting as I stumbled across a grit tray today), the purpling is much stronger than on the endless swathes of swiddens where much of the heather is looking dead.

And here too, on the small nab west of Scarth Nick which I’ve called Sheaths Nab after the cottage that once existed below, the heather is highlighted by its diversity. Left alone, this heather is thriving. To me, as a layman, there does seem to be a correlation with the intensity of the purple and the intensity of moorland management.

The ‘Glorious Twelfth‘ will soon be upon us, and I read that the grouse shooting season is looking pretty bleak. Last year’s heather beetle outbreak, heavy spring frosts, and rain and snow in April and May, have all supposedly contributed in a low grouse ‘bag’. But, again observing as a layman, there does seem to be plenty of the birds flying around the moors.

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