Devonshire Park, Keighley - 2 November 2021

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Sat, 6th Nov 2021, 9:58am

It was just a year since our last visit to Devonshire Park, a small, 9 acre park very close to the centre of Keighley which was opened in 1888 on land given to the town by the 7th Duke of Devonshire and designed by Lister Kershaw whose renowned nursery business had been established in Brighouse some 20 years before.  We noted the recently opened outdoor gym and recreational area at the edge of the park and hoped that participants might be inspired by some of the natural beauty around them.

Sally had organised the trip once again and five participants enjoyed fine, if chilly, weather.  The attraction of the park is the variety of different trees many of which show their best at this time of the year, especially the variety of oaks with their spectacular autumn tints.  Last year the leaves had mostly been blown off the trees but this year we were able to appreciate many of them in situ whilst walking on a carpet of already fallen leaves.  Other trees especially attractive at this time of year were the ginkos and the beeches with the delicate leaves of the cut-leaved beech being particularly so even though the tree is somewhat overshadowed by a magnificent weeping beech.

Much time was spent trying to identify the different species of limes, noting the differences in bark, leaf, fruit and shape in the many examples.  We excused our inability to make definitive IDs of some when we noted that the excellent guide described one tree as Tilia sp.  Small birds flitted constantly through the trees including a flock of long-tailed tits and a nuthatch called throughout our stay whilst russulas and ink caps pushed their way through the leaf litter.

As the facilities at Cliffe Castle were closed we had our lunch in the park and then went our separate ways after a very pleasant morning.  Thanks to Sally for the organisation.

Stuart Tordoff

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