Out & About …

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

Tag: grouse moor management

  • Hutton Moor — Biodiversity vs. Profit

    Hutton Moor — Biodiversity vs. Profit

    This is Hutton Moor at the northern end of the Percy Cross Rigg track. I see that the self-seeded birch and spruce that have sprouted on the heather moorland have been unceremoniously cut down. The rationale is clear; if left unchecked, the moorland will eventually transform into a birch woodland. However, this does come at…

  • Three Howes — Heritage in flames

    Three Howes — Heritage in flames

    I felt a deep sadness upon coming across this recent burning on a bowl barrow on Gisborough Moor. These bowl barrows are historical landmarks, and government regulations explicitly state that burning “must not … damage important monuments”. I suppose those responsible might argue that the burning was a “cool burn”, not reaching the peat underneath.…

  • Ah, the joys of heather burning season

    Ah, the joys of heather burning season

    It’s the delightful season of heather burning, and I found myself on Hasty Bank, the perfect vantage point to witness the breathtaking spectacle of over a dozen smoke columns gracefully dancing across a vast 180° panorama of the North York Moors, stretching from Gisborough Moor to the majestic Black Hambleton. In the photo above, these…

  • All my life I have loved being out and about …

    All my life I have loved being out and about …

    … in the fresh air, in the hills and mountains. Never a day goes by without my daily fix. But the sight of blackened, smelly swiddens saddens me; just as much as the large plumes of smoke that waft across the moors. This melancholy is worsened by an increasing anxiety of the climate emergency and…

  • A beautiful autumn day, clear and sunny, with light winds and a slight nip in the air

    A beautiful autumn day, clear and sunny, with light winds and a slight nip in the air

    I have had a couple of people say to me recently that “controlled” burning of the moors is now illegal. Well, that’s not quite right. According to Defra the new regulations introduced last year “will prevent the burning of any specified vegetation on areas of deep peat (over 40cm depth) on a Site of Special…

  • Ladder traps

    Ladder traps

    I spotted this trap the other day, deep down in the northern horn of Lonsdale. So a battle through the bracken to take a closer look. It’s what is known as a ‘ladder trap’ and consists of a timber-frame covered in chicken-wire mesh with a ‘V’ shaped roof leading to a narrow opening so that…

  • Live Moor promontory fort

    Live Moor promontory fort

    A small Bronze Age fort on the north-west corner of Live Moor, more often called Knolls End. Within spitting distance of the Cleveland Way and Coast to Coast footpaths but no Information Boards adorn the site. It was only “discovered” in 1979 so there have been no excavations done. But … … there are sure…

  • Chequerboard moorland

    Chequerboard moorland

    I suppose it would be petty of me to whine about this anthropogenic change to the moors created by mowing of the heather moorland. I should be thankful that this moor is no longer being burn and great plumes of smoke waft across the skyline but I fear the random patches of the old black…

  • It can be done …

    It can be done …

    The relatively small patch of heather moorland around Captain Cook’s Monument has recently been strip mowed. This photo is technically of a strip on Little Ayton Moor, north of the parish boundary wall, but the area surrounding the monument, Easby Moor, also has at least two parallel strips. The moors are technically dry upland heath,…

  • Hrímfaxi, the goddess of the night’s horse, pulls her chariot through the dark sky

    Hrímfaxi, the goddess of the night’s horse, pulls her chariot through the dark sky

    It was pretty bleak on Urra Moor this morning. I had half expected to see ‘The Hagmare of Orrer‘, a witch that was said to roam the moor in the guise of a horse. I had met this beast earlier on Greenhow Moor. The great plow of Watership Down thundering out of the freezing mist.…