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Lowna 26th April 2007

Tom Denney

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.

Ryenats members near Lowna

HorsetailIn 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 NameLatin Name
Dogs MercuryMercuralis perennis
Lesser CelandineRanunculus ficaria
CrosswortCruciata laevipes
Wood SorrelOxalis acetosella
Sweet CecilyMyrrhis odorata
DaisyBellis perennis
DandelionTaraxacum officianale
Dog VioletViola riviniana
RamsonsAllium ursinum
PrimrosePrimula vulgaris
Herb RobertGeranium robertianum
Barren StrawberryPotentilla sterilis
Opposite leaved Golden Saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium 
Cuckoo flowerCardamine pratensis
Wood AnenomeAnemone nemorosa
Ground IvyGlechoma hederacea
Marsh MarigoldCaltha palustris
Ladies MantleAlchemilla xanthochlora
Ribwort PlantainPlantago lanceolata
Wood HorsetailEquisetum sylvaticum
BilberryVaccinium myrtillus
Great WoodrushLuzula sylvatica
Wood SpeedwellVeronica montana
Wild DaffodilNarcissus pseudonarcissus
HorsetailEquisetum sp. (?telmateia)
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Text and photos © Tom Denney 2007