A brilliant morning with cloudless blue skies, the moors no longer have their drab winter colours with fresh greens of bracken and bilberries. Around the moorland edges purple bell heather is in bloom. And in the damper hollows cottongrass, neither cotton nor grass, nod in the breeze, growing in profusion this year but the moors are not particularly wet.
Viewed from the Cleveland Way, between Hutton Moor and Codhill Heights, Codhill Slack is a shallow boggy valley which drains into the River Esk and empties into the North Sea at Whitby. In the 13th century a document entitled “Cartularium Priory de Gyseburne” referred to it as Rivelingdale. It seems drier now than I remember with scattered scrub trees and with bracken encroaching, the rushes less intense with patches of Cottongrass. In the mid 19th century a leat or water race was built along Hutton Moor on the right to divert water to the ironstone mines at Hutton. This race can be still traced but I doubt if it’s still effective.
Back on the North York Moors for a day and a run with the dog in the morning. Cottongrass is a plant that livens up the moors with its bobbing seed heads even in the slightest breeze. It’s a common plant which is found throughout the Northern hemisphere on acidic soils.
Captain Cooks Monument on Easby Moor can be seen in the far distance.