Back to the Home page

Fen Bog 2nd August 2015

led by Ken Hutchinson

Species lists below

Ryenats members

A blue sky and warm breeze greeted 16 members for an afternoon walk around this remote moorland Nature Reserve situated in the north-east corner of the Society’s recording area. Fen Bog was gifted to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 1964 by the Baldwin family in memory of two relatives who were killed in action in World War II.

At just under 20 hectares the nature reserve is one of the finest examples of an upland valley mire in Britain and as such has been designated a SSSI. With over 300 plant species recorded it is widely regarded as a botanist’s paradise. A full list of the plants seen is included below. We did not see the full range of seges (around 20 I think) that grow here, partly because we kept to the paths rather than diving in to the bog itself as we did not wish to damage this fragile habitat. Also I suspect there were several species we might have seen earlier in the year that were in seed and therefore not obvious. We did however see the locally rare White beak sedge Rhynchospora alba and some beautiful spotted orchids including heath spotted orchid Dactylorhiza maculata.

Heath spotted orchid Dactylorhiza maculata

Heath spotted orchid Dactylorhiza maculata

White beak sedge Rhynchospora alba

White beak sedge Rhynchospora alba

We also saw some Lesser clubmoss Selaginella selaginoides (another locally rare plant) and plenty of sundew (an insectivorous plant like butterwort, catching and “eating“ insects to boost its intake of nitrogen whichis in short supplyin bogs), including this specimen with a flower spike.

Lesser clubmoss Selaginella selaginoides

Lesser clubmoss Selaginella selaginoides

Sundew Drosera rotundifolia

SundewDrosera rotundifolia

Few birds were recorded which was to be expected this late in the season, those noted were: Swallow, Chaffinch, Wren, Herring Gull and Redpoll – the later not seen but heard singing in the trees alongside the railway line; this was thought likely to be the Lesser Redpoll Acanthis cabaret that is present year-round unlike the Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea that is mainly a winter visitor in this country.

Disappointingly not many dragonflies were recorded being restricted to just one female, one male and one dead male Keeled skimmer, and a Golden-ringed Dragonfly. Butterflies seen were: Small skipper, Small heath, Meadow brown, Dark green fritillary, Common blue, Large white and Ringlet. Moths recorded were: Fox moth larvae, Brown china mark, Agriphila tristella, Agriphila straminella, Catoptria margaritella, Crambus lathoniellus and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla. On the way back to the car park a Tiger beetle was seen scurrying through the grass alongside the path.

A small frog and a llizard were also spotted by some keen-eyed members.

Ryenats members

Returning to the car park the now traditional slice of cake was awaiting, the perfect end to what all agreed was an enjoyable afternoon.

Species lists


Latin nameEnglish name
Achillea millefoliumYarrow
Achillea ptarmicaSneezewort
Agrostis stoloniferaBent, White
Agrostis tenuisBent, Fine
Alchemilla filicaulis ssp. vestitaLadys mantle
Anthoxanthum odoratumSweet Vernal Grass
Arrhenatherum elatiusOat, False
Bellis perennisDaisy
Betula sp.Birch
Blechnum spicantHard Fern
Briza mediaQuaking Grass
Calluna vulgarisHeather or Ling
Campanula rotundifoliaHarebell
Carex echinataStar sedge
Carex flaccaGlaucous sedge
Carex nigraCommon sedge
Carex paniceaCarnation sedge
Carex paniculataTussock sedge
Carex pulicarisFlea sedge
Carex rostrataBottle sedge
Carex viridulaYellow sedge
Centaurea nigraKnapweed, common
Cerastium fontanumMouse ear, common
Cirsium arvenseThistle, creeping
Cirsium palustreThistle, marsh
Cirsium vulgareThistle, spear
Crataegus monogynaHawthorn
Dactylorhiza fuchsiiOrchid, common spotted
Dactylorhiza Orchid, heath spotted
Dactylorhiza sp.Orchid, hybrid spotted
Danthonia decumbens = SieglingiaHeath Grass
Deschampsia caespitosaHair Grass, Tufted
Deschampsia flexuosaHair Grass, Wavy
Drosera rotundifoliaSundew
Dryopteris carthusianaNarrow Buckler Fern
Eleocharis palustrisSpike-rush, common
Equisetum palustreMarsh Horsetail
Erica cinereaBell heather
Erica tetralixCross leaved heath
Eriophorum angustifoliumCottongrass, common
Eriophorum vaginatumCottongrass, harestail
Euphrasia officinalis agg.Eyebright
Filipendula ulmariaMeadowsweet
Fragaria vescaStrawberry, wild
Gentianella amarellaGentian, autumn
Heracleum sphondyliumHogweed
Holcus lanatusYorkshire Fog
Hydrocotyle vulgarisMarsh pennywort
Hypericum perforatumSt Johnswort, perforate
Hypericum pulchrumSt Johnswort, beautiful
Juncus articulatusJointed Rush
Juncus conglomeratusCompact Rush
Juncus effususSoft Rush
Leontodon hispidusHawkbit, rough
Leucanthemum vulgare Oxeye daisy or Dog Daisy
Linum catharticumFlax, fairy
Lotus corniculatusBirdsfoot trefoil, common
Luzula multifloraWoodrush, heath
Menyanthes trifoliataBogbean
Molinia caeruleaPurple Moor Grass
Myrica galeBog myrtle or Gale
Nardus strictaMat Grass
Narthecium ossifragumBog asphodel
Phleum pratenseTimothy
Pinguicula vulgarisButterwort
Pinus sylvestrisScots pine
Plantago lanceolataPlantain, ribwort
Polygala serpyllifoliaMilkwort, heath
Potamogeton polygonifoliusPondweed, Bog
Potentilla anserinaSilverweed
Potentilla erectaTormentil
Potentilla palustrisCinquefoil, marsh
Potentilla reptansCinquefoil, creeping
Prunella vulgarisSelf heal
Pteridium aquilinumBracken
Ranunculus acrisButtercup, meadow
Ranunculus flammulaSpearwort, lesser
Rhynchospora albaWhite beak-sedge
Rumex obtusifoliusDock, broad leaved
Sagina nodosaPearlwort, knotted
Sanguisorba minorBurnet, salad
Selaginella selaginoidesLesser clubmoss
Schoenus nigricansBlack Bog rush
Senecio jacobeaRagwort, common
Sorbus aucupariaRowan
Trichophorum cespitosumDeergrass
Trifolium pratenseClover, red
Trifolium repensClover, white
Typha latifoliaReedmace, common
Ulex europaeusGorse
Vaccinium myrtillusBilberry
Veronica chamaedrysSpeedwell, germander
Viola palustrisViolet, marsh


Small skipper, Small heath, Meadow brown, Dark green fritillary, Common blue, Large white and Ringlet.


Fox moth larvae, Brown china mark, Agriphila tristella, Agriphila straminella, Catoptria margaritella, Crambus lathoniellus, Amblyptilia acanthadactyla.
[Ed: Thanks to Graham Featherstone for the Lepidoptera IDs.]

© Ryedale Natural History Society 2015, Photos © Gill Smith 2015 Back to the Home page