Sgwarnog: In the Field

By sgwarnog


For today's exercise walk I went to the high part of Spring Wood, which I don't visit so often but which I knew would be quiet. In fact there was no-one else there.

It's an odd bit of woodland, separated by a steep slope from the more characteristically ancient woodland vegetation by the side of the beck below. Up here cattle are let in to graze, which means there's very little in the way of ground herbage or understory, apart from a few patches of garlic and some well established holly thickets (see extras for another typical view). Ecologically, a zombie wood perhaps.

This boulder boundary wall has always intrigued me. Somewhere along it is supposed to be a cup-marked rock, but I've never been able to find it. I had wondered if it was a vacca wall like the more famous one at Otley Chevin (as I blipped back in 2012). I think the penny dropped today though, as I'm fairly sure that this lies on what is currently the district boundary between Bradford (to the left) and Leeds (to the right). The wall clearly has more history than contemporary municipal boundaries though. Previously this may well have been the divide between the historic parishes of Otley and Bingley (Otley Parish having extended all the way to the River Aire, including all of what is now Baildon), but I'll have to do a bit more digging around to establish that. If only I had some time on my hands...

It was too cool and windy (and even hail storms!) for butterflies today, but I did see a nuthatch in the woods, and heard a woodpecker.

I'd timed my walk over lunchtime today as I've always found Sunday lunch a very quiet time to be out. It did mean that when I was heading back into the village everyone else was heading out though, so there was a bit of a congestion on the paths linking town and country. A bit of polite, socially distanced queuing soon got me through that though.

My woodland wander prompted me to take my copy of Oliver Rackham's History of the Countryside off the shelf when I got home, and I spent a pleasant afternoon browsing that while listening to Guy Garvey's show on 6 Music. 

I know we lost an hour today, but the weekend didn't seem long enough somehow. Back to work (at home) in the morning, but I don't think that will be as intense as last week.

Take care every one.

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