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Manor Vale in Spring
10th May 2015

led by Jim Pewtress

Species lists below

Eleven members met on a dry and relatively warm Sunday afternoon. The last time Ryenats came here was exactly seven years ago for a dawn chorus on 10 May 2008. This meeting is one of two this year which will form a study of Manor Vale for 2015. Additionally members will visit the area throughout the year and add further records to a final report at the end of the year.

Dog violet Viol;a riviniana

Common dog violet (left)

Primrose, cowslip and the hybrid between them – False oxlip (right)

Primrose, cowslip and false oxlip Primula spp.

Manor Vale is owned by Kirkbymoorside Town Council having been purchased in 1993 and a Management Committee was formed to look after the wood, which includes members of Ryenats. Manor Vale is an ancient woodland having been part of a medieval deer park. It is situated at the northern edge of Kirkbymoorside, SE692873 and forms a Y shape valley. There is a private road running north through the valley bottom to the Golf Club. There is full public access to the wood and a bridleway runs along the eastern edge along the top of the slope and a footpath runs E-W back towards the road.

Toothwort Lathraea squamaria

Toothwort (parasitic on hazel roots)

Eaarly purple orchid Irchis mascula

Early purple orchid growing in woodland

The slopes of the wood are predominantly limestone with smaller pockets of more acidic ground. During this visit the spring flora was in full flow with dogs mercury being a dominant species along with goldilocks, wood anemone, bluebells and primroses to name the more common ones. We were very pleased to see toothwort still on show with a particularly large spread in one area. We were unable to locate the two other less common species; green hellebore and lily of the valley on this visit but it is recorded here historically. We did locate two areas of early purple orchid, the only orchid recorded for this site. The Management Committee have 176 species recorded at Manor Vale from the 1990s so it will be interesting to see our total for the year. The list of flora on our visit is detailed below.

Only five butterflies were seen but conditions were not in their favour on this visit: orange tip, green-veined white, small white, peacock and speckled wood.

Birds were singing well but we did not record a large number. Although redstart is recorded here historically it has not been seen in recent years. The bird boxes are monitored by a Ryenats member and are occupied.

We did find one spread of St George’s mushroom on the northern slope which was quite extensive. Other fungi noted were birch bracket, King Alfred’s Cakes (growing on the ancient ash) and a large bracket growing on dead timber.

Ash is one of the most common trees here at Manor Vale and we did visit the ancient ash at the northeast boundary. We measured the girth at 5.4m (17'8") (in the traditional way, using a piece of string).

Ancient ash tree
Measuring the girth of the ancient Manor Ash

Ancient ash tree
The Manor Ash

We also visited the young ash planted in memory of the late Ryenats member, Don Smith, whose contribution to recording at Manor Vale is very much appreciated by the Management Committee.

Memorial plaque for Don Smith

The meeting was concluded with delicious cake.

Species lists


Latin nameCommon name
Acer campestreMaple, field
Acer pseudoplatanusSycamore
Aegopodium podagrariaGround elder
Aesculus hippocastanumChestnut, horse
Ajuga reptansBugle
Alchemilla xanthochloraLadys mantle
Alliaria petiolataHedge Garlic or Jack by the Hedge
Allium ursinumRamsons
Anemone nemorosaWood anemone
Anthriscus sylvestrisCow parsley
Arctium minusBurdock
Arum maculatumLords and ladies
Bellis perennisDaisy
Brachypodium sylvaticumSlender False Brome
Bromus ramosus (Bromopsis ramosa)Brome, Hairy
? Calystegia sylvaticaBindweed, large
Cardamine flexuosaBittercress, wavy
Cardamine hirsutaBittercress, hairy
Carex sylvaticaWood sedge
Centaurea nigraKnapweed, common
Chamerion angustifoliumWillowherb, rosebay or Fireweed
Circaea lutetianaEnchanters nightshade
Conopodium majusPignut
Corylus avellanaHazel
Crataegus monogynaHawthorn
Cruciata laevipesCrosswort
Deschampsia caespitosaHair Grass, Tufted
Dryopteris affinisGolden Scale Fern
Dryopteris filix-masMale Fern
Fagus sylvaticaBeech
Fallopia japonicaJapanese knotweed
Filipendula ulmariaMeadowsweet
Fraxinus excelsiorAsh
Galanthus nivalisSnowdrop
Galium aparineCleavers
Geranium pratenseCranesbill, meadow
Geranium robertianumHerb robert
Geum rivaleAvens, water
Geum sp. (G. intermedium)Avens, hybrid
Geum urbanumAvens, wood
Glechoma hederaceaGround ivy
Hedera helixIvy
Heracleum sphondyliumHogweed
Hyacinthoides non-scriptaBluebell
Ilex aquifoliumHolly
Lamium albumDeadnettle, white
Lathraea squamariaToothwort
Lonicera periclymenumHoneysuckle
Luzula campestrisWoodrush, field
Malus sylvestrisCrab apple
Melica unifloraMelick, Wood
Mercurialis perennisDogs mercury
Moehringia trinervaThree nerved sandwort
Myosotis sylvaticaForgetmenot, wood
Orchis masculaOrchid, early purple
Oxalis acetosellaWood sorrel
Petasites hybridusButterbur
Phyllitis scolopendriumHartstongue
Plantago lanceolataPlantain, ribwort
Plantago majorPlantain, greater
Polystichum aculeatumHard Shield Fern
Potentilla sterilisStrawberry, barren
Primula verisCowslip
Primula vulgarisPrimrose, common
Primula polyanthaFalse oxlip
Prunus domesticaWild plum
Prunus spinosaBlackthorn
Quercus sp.Oak
Ranunculus auricomusButtercup, goldilocks
Ranunculus ficariaCelandine, lesser
Ranunculus repensButtercup, creeping
Ribes rubrumCurrant, red
Ribes uva-crispaGooseberry
Rosa arvensisRose, field
Rosa caninaRose, dog
Rubus fruticosusBramble
Rubus idaeusRaspberry
Rumex acetosaSorrel, common
Rumex obtusifoliusDock, broad leaved
Rumex sanguineusDock, wood
Sambucus nigraElder
Sanguisorba minorBurnet, salad
Sanicula europaeaSanicle
Silene dioicaCampion, red
Sorbus aucupariaRowan
Stachys sylvaticaWoundwort, hedge
Stellaria holosteaStitchwort, greater
Symphytum sp.Comfrey
Tamus communisBlack bryony
Taraxacum sp.Dandelion
Trifolium pratenseClover, red
Trifolium repensClover, white
Ulmus glabraElm, wych
Urtica dioicaNettle, common
Veronica arvensisSpeedwell, wall
Veronica chamaedrysSpeedwell, germander
Veronica montanaSpeedwell, wood
Vicia sepiumVetch, bush
Viola odorataViolet, sweet
Viola reichenbachianaViolet, early dog or Wood dog
Viola rivinianaViolet, common dog
Viola bavaricaViolet, hybrid common x wood


Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Chaffinch, Wren, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Jackdaw, Cuckoo, Goldfinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Goldcrest and Yellow Wagtail (seen by Keith).
Thanks to Jim for this list.


Orange tip, Green-veined White, Small White, Peacock and Speckled Wood butterflies, Buff-tailed and White-tailed bumblebees, Sawfly (Tenthredopsis litterata) and a Scorpion fly (Panorpa sp.) – see below.

Scorpion fly Panorpa sp.


King Alfred’s cakes, St. George’s mushroom, birch bracket, ?Ganoderma sp, (bracket fungus)

St. George's Mushroom
St. George’s Mushroom (part of a large fairy ring)

Bracket fungus
Bracket fungus on dead wood, possibly a Ganoderma species

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