Out & About …

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

Tag: National Trust

  • A Chance Encounter with the Great Crested Newt

    A Chance Encounter with the Great Crested Newt

    Shakespeare’s witches in Macbeth famously required “Eye of newt, and toe of frog” for their cauldron. Debate lingers over whether this references the amphibian’s body part or a herbalist’s term for mustard seeds. In our garden pond, we have plenty of common newts, but today at the National Trust’s Bridestones property, I encountered my first…

  • The Battle Against Erosion—Conservation Efforts at Roseberry Topping

    The Battle Against Erosion—Conservation Efforts at Roseberry Topping

    With the ever-increasing influx of visitors, Roseberry Topping will inevitably suffer unless concerted efforts are made for its preservation. Before the National Trust assumed responsibility for the area, maintenance was minimal, as the land had been classified as agricultural. Under the Trust’s stewardship, conditions markedly improved. Paths on the lesser slopes were temporarily diverted to…

  • The Pulse of Life in Bransdale

    The Pulse of Life in Bransdale

    The North York Moors dales, after enduring months of rain and unseasonably cold temperatures, have erupted into a lush and vibrant green. The pastures, the crinkled oak leaves, and the dark crowns of the conifers in Barker Plantation all pulse with life. This intense greenness assails my senses: I hear it in the blackbird’s song,…

  • 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 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…

  • Kissing trees

    Kissing trees

    Nineteen years ago in February, the landscape draped in snow, I found myself fascinated by a pair of beech saplings, their slender forms intertwined like old lovers. Over the passing years, one of the trees has asserted dominance, its girth swelling, while its companion languished in subservience, scarcely growing at all. Yet, despite this apparent…

  • Blackthorn’s Starry Flowers Precede the Bluebell Spectacle

    Blackthorn’s Starry Flowers Precede the Bluebell Spectacle

    The bluebell meadows in Newton Wood are on the verge of bursting forth in a hue of cerulean blue. However, it is not their time quite yet. The initial shoots can be seen, but presently it is the blackthorn that commands the spotlight of spring. Masses of blossom, soft and disordered, the twisted thorny shrubs…

  • The Smiddy, Bransdale Mill

    The Smiddy, Bransdale Mill

    Doing some work at Bransdale Mill, specifically in the old smithy, known as ‘smiddy’ in the local Cleveland dialect, which is being repurposed into a wood store. This structure, formerly a dilapidated two-room, single-story building, had its fortunes revived in the recent past by the National Trust, which rendered it weatherproof with a fresh blue…

  • Roseberry’s Forgotten Quarry

    Roseberry’s Forgotten Quarry

    It might sound unbelievable, but, back in the day, sandstone used to be quarried right at the very top of Roseberry. A small quarry nestled just below the summit was the most recent scene for this extraction. On the climb up the back of Roseberry, from the summerhouse, and you’ll start to climb a gentler…

  • On yet another foul day …

    On yet another foul day …

    … so I didn’t venture far; instead, just bagging Roseberry Topping and picking up Cliff Rigg on the way back. Cliff Rigg has a quarry that has been the subject of my posts on several occasions. This ridge is part of the Cleveland Dyke, a tough volcanic rock that forcefully juts through the much older…