Green Bank

The scarp of Busby Moor, lush with bracken broken by cliffs of soft cliffs. Viewed from the climb up Carlton Bank. Our lifeline during the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, a rare patch of countryside remaining open to the public.

Green Bank map

Cottongrass, Hutton Moor

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.

Cottongrass, Hutton Moor map

Lonsdale

A south facing offshoot of Kildale but draining into the River Tees. An evening view from Great Ayton Moor.

Lonsdale map

Hutton Moor

Ernaldsti, the medieval track named after Ernald de Percy, Lord of Kildale, cuts across Hutton Moor on Percy Rigg. Hutton Moor is part of the SSSI which covers most of the North York Moors‘ heather moorland. I do find it hard to understand why a landscape managed by man to maximise the production of one species at the expense of others should be designated as a SSSI.

Hutton Moor map

Codhill Slack

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.

Codhill Slack map

Grassington Moor

Lead mining has had a tremendous impact on much of the Yorkshire Dales. Both providing a wealth of fascinating archaeological interest and transforming the landscape in a barren industrial wasteland. Grassington Moor has had a long history of mining. Being flatter than Swaledale and the northern dales and lacking the steep sided valleys, early ore was gained not by hushes and drifts into the hillside but by sinking of shafts to reach the mineral veins. Early shafts were no more than 30 metres deep with the vein being worked horizontally until it became exhausted or unsafe.

In the 19th century the Duke of Devonshire acquired the moor and began a more industrial exploitation. An horizontal adit was driven linking the shafts for drainage and a cupola coal fired smelting mill was built to replace earlier wood and peat fired mills. The cupola mill enabled continuous smelting. In the photo the remains of this mill are at the bottom right of the slope. Fumes from the mill were exhausted via a network of flues to the chimney at the highest point of the moor. This network of flues was to enable sections of flue to be isolated and cleaned out to recover condensed lead without halting the smelting process. The cupola built closed in 1882.

Between 1955 and 1962, Dales Chemicals reworked the old waste heaps for fluorspar and barytes which the Victorian miners had discarded. Many of the buildings dating from this time can be seem on the far left of the photo at the top of the track.

Temple Beeld

A most unusual feature on the North York Moors. I’m more used to coming across bields, to use the more usual spelling, in the Lakeland fells. This one has been built between five standing stones in the form of a cross so that sheep can shelter from which ever way the wind is blowing.  The location is on Lealholm Moor, a moor which is void of rock outcrops. The stone must have been carted in from quite a long distance. The bield is absent from the Ordnance Survey map but is quite clear on Google Maps from which it can be seen that the arms of the cross are slightly angled. Peculiar but clearly following a design.

Temple Beeld map