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On a beautiful late April day, twenty two members and friends assembled at the Lowna car park for a gentle riverside stroll. This was our first Saturday mid-morning meeting and the attendance augurs well for many of our future meetings this summer. We hope so. The three-hour walk followed the Dove north into Low Farndale, swung up on to Harland Moor and then descended down to return on a different path to the west of the river. It was very apparent that although the daffodils were over, it had indeed been an excellent year for them and this must be one of the best daffodil walks in the dale.
In terms of other natural history items seen, on the bird front we were disappointed not to see any river birds (grey wagtail/dipper/kingfisher) but with such a large group perhaps they saw us first! We did however have excellent views of singing blackcaps and willow warblers; both songs well known in woodland and heathland respectively and songs we need to get to know.
As we were missing our plant experts we were not able to compile an impressive flora list, but we were all taken with the strange horsetails springing up in the streamside meadows.[From the photo these look like the fertile shoots of Great Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia) Ed.]
Similarly it was interesting that one of our members who is a fisherman was able to point out the profusion of hawthorn flies (well liked by trout) down by the river. An orange tip butterfly entertained us as we lunched by the river.
Lowna of course is well known for the tale of Sarkless Kitty and we returned via the very picturesque Quakers Burial Ground where it is rumoured the unfortunate girl was buried. This isolated cemetery is now much better tended than in the past, and contains a seat made from one of the beeches that had to be felled due to safety reasons an excellent place for contemplation of the past and the surrounding nature.
Thanks to Rhona Sutherland for this list of the flowers seen.
|English Name||Latin Name|
|Dogs Mercury||Mercuralis perennis|
|Lesser Celandine||Ranunculus ficaria|
|Wood Sorrel||Oxalis acetosella|
|Sweet Cecily||Myrrhis odorata|
|Dog Violet||Viola riviniana|
|Herb Robert||Geranium robertianum|
|Barren Strawberry||Potentilla sterilis|
|Opposite leaved Golden Saxifrage||Chrysosplenium oppositifolium|
|Cuckoo flower||Cardamine pratensis|
|Wood Anenome||Anemone nemorosa|
|Ground Ivy||Glechoma hederacea|
|Marsh Marigold||Caltha palustris|
|Ladies Mantle||Alchemilla xanthochlora|
|Ribwort Plantain||Plantago lanceolata|
|Wood Horsetail||Equisetum sylvaticum|
|Great Woodrush||Luzula sylvatica|
|Wood Speedwell||Veronica montana|
|Wild Daffodil||Narcissus pseudonarcissus|
|Horsetail||Equisetum sp. (?telmateia)|
|Tom Denney||Back to the Index page|
Text and photos © Tom Denney 2007