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Ladhill Gill, Hawnby, September 15th

Eleven members and guests had a very enjoyable walk up Ladhill Gill (the valley which separates Hawnby Hill and Easterside Hill) guided by Mr. Don Buckle who has lived there for 30 years. This small valley was once well-populated but only two farms remain occupied. One cottage complete with its own small chapel was once the home of a hermit monk from the monastery at Ampleforth.

Birds: Kestrel, Red Grouse, Woodpigeon, Swallow, Robin, Wren, Tawny Owl, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, a flock of 30 Mistle Thrushes and small parties of Blue Tit and Chaffinch.

Plants: Marsh Cudweed, Water Pepper, all the usual woodland plants including Tormentil. Among the trees was a curious Poplar, perhaps an Aspen/Black Polar hybrid, and Bird Cherry. There was a wonderful crop of Rowan berries and a few trees had begun to turn colour.

Five types of fern were pointed out along the beck: Mountain Fern (pale, spores round edge of leaflets), Lady Fern (delicate, spore clusters comma-shaped), Hard Fern (with distinctive ‘fish-bone’-shaped fertile fronds, Broad Buckler Fern (roundish spore masses) plus Bracken. Several fungi mostly in the oak wood included ?Oak lactaria, Russula ochroleuca, and Earth Ball (fairly hard with dark spores, pale and spongy in Puffball), Puffball, Amanita, probably Blusher, Parasols, Wood Hedgehog, a Bolete, probably Badius, Birch bracket, Amethyst Deceiver, plus Horse Mushrooms in the fields. Apparently Blewits grow here too but we were too early.

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