High Bride Stones

 

Fascinating sandstone columns and rock outcrops eroded over the millennia by wind and rain. Deep wooded valleys or ‘griffs’ cut into the moor, which is a National Trust property a few miles south of Whitby. In the photo is Dovedale Griff.

Unlike many heather moors Bridestones is not managed solely for the grouse so is much richer in wildlife. An island for lichens, flowers, birds, small mammals. In the griffs is ancient woodland and the very highest ridges have a bedrock cap of ooidal limestone creating unique swathes of lime grassland, a rare habitat for lime loving plants and ferns such as the Adder’s-tongue Fern.

But these habitats still need to be managed. I joined a team of National Trust Rangers and Volunteers to cut back the ever encroaching bracken. I have previously cut bracken before. For an orienteering race. But that was in the Autumn when the plant was six foot high and the task was horrendous. Today though slicing the tops of the tiny uncurled fronds was like cutting asparagus. Hopefully this will weaken the rhizomes.

 

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