15.06.2021 Burley in Wharfedale -stepping stones and Sun Lane

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 16th Jun 2021, 11:18am

Both of todays walks were conducted in superb weather conditions, we enjoyed warm sunshine throughout. We had a true taste of what summer can be like. A small group of four met in a pub car park in Burley in Wharfedale. We took the path under the dual carriageway lined with Dog Rose and non native shrubs to the stepping stones across the River Wharfe. This is a picturesque and popular beauty spot which on this occasion we shared with three bikini clad bathers! The main spots were Common Valerian growing on the island also the bank and a Heron stationary in the water.The shaded path continued parallel to an extensive canal basin or goit where we saw Yellow Water-lily, Yellow flag iris, Blue damsel flies and young Mallard, through the foliage. We returned to the village through a second underpass passing a mill development and enjoyed lunch seated overlooking the park.

Our afternoon walk was to Sun Lane nature reserve previously visited in 2009 and 2013. The reserve has been created over an area of landfill and nurtured by a group of volunteers. It has an interesting range of flora, some native and others are introductions. We were led by our enthusiastic  leader Alice and joined by an additional member Lorna.The reserve has an extensive collection of orchids which were in pristine condition including Southern Marsh orchid, Common Spotted orchid and Heath Spotted orchid. There was a lovely display of Meadow Cranesbill seen at the entry to the site (Wood Cranesbill was also seen).We ventured into a hidden valley below the main path. In this section we saw Giant Sea Holly, Creeping Cinquefoil and Silverweed among many other familiar plants.On reaching the brow of the hill we were afforded some superb views across the Wharfe Valley and beyond. Rosy Garlic was seen on the road side verge, another special plant.

Butterflies were on the wing including Speckled Wood, Tortoisehell, Small White and Brimstone. The birds either seen or heard included Oystercatcher, Curlew, Chaffinch, Crow and Mallard. To conclude we enjoyed a lovely day out.   


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