CCTV operating

The Inglorious 12th minus one, to borrow from the title of Mark Avery’s book. Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the annual slaughter on the moors. On Farndale Moor signs have gone up advising of CCTV monitoring. No matter I don’t own a horse and have no intention of biking along the track, I find these signs very intimidating but that after all is the intention. And very suspicious, are there sights not for public viewing? But it is Open Access Land so people are free to walk or run, sightsee and birdwatch and I am already planning my route exploring such features as South Flat Howe, The Honey Poke, Old Ralph’s Cross, Esklets Cross, Cooper Hill and Stony Ridge, the 1400′ ring contour in the distance on the photograph. Not to mention the scores of old bell pits from the 18th-century coal workings.

Is it practical to monitor around ten square kilometres of moorland? I doubt it. There were no obvious poles mounting the cameras and communications equipment, but maybe it’s just one of those little wildlife surveillance cameras. Or maybe they’re using drones.

Stoney Ridge map

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Little Blakey Howe

A bronze age burial mound, or “round barrow” on Blakey Ridge above Rosedale. The stone was erected as a boundary stone in the eighteenth century and is probably a reused standing stone of older antiquity.

The contrails high amongst the cirrus clouds can be used as a navigation aid. “Contrails” is an American word, a shortening of condensation trails. Most commercial airlines fly in a north west/south east direction in this part of the UK. But as contrails will only be seen when skies are clear and the sun is shining, it’s not that much use. Fairly useless really. More useful is a means of weather forecasting. Contrails only form when there is moisture in the air and moisture in the high atmosphere foretells of a worsening in the weather. The high cirrus clouds indicate the same thing, the approach of a weather front.

Notice also that one side of the contrails is smudged indicating the high level winds are blowing across them. Comparing the high level winds with the surface winds can also be used to forecast the weather. Stand with your back to the (surface) wind; if the high level wind is moving left to right, there may be an approaching warm front and the weather will deteriorate. Right to left: cold air is coming and the weather is likely to improve. Same direction: no imminent change.