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17 September 2014
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Farndale Moor

Daffodils, Lapwings and more...

Farndale c/o Dave Phillips

Hutton le Hole is a picturesque village in the heart of the North Yorks Moors National Park.

The area surrounding the village is known as Farndale and its moor offers excellent wildlife opportunities.

Moorland adventure.
Photo c/o Dave Phillips.

Farndale is the starting point for a journey to see a great spring spectacle - the Grouse season.

In spring Farndale Moor is a great place for bird watching - it's a riot of display of calls and mating behaviour especially where the moor land meets the farmland.

Grouse season

Red GrouseOne of Farndale's important springtime residents is the Grouse.

Farndale has managed to keep a healthy Grouse population, and a spin-off for nature watchers is that other moorland birds benefit.

Many birds nest on the edge of the moor and farmland during the spring because it provides safety and cover.


Also known as a Green Plover, Peewit, Pee-wee, Chewit and Tieve's Nacket.

Makes a 'pee-wit' sound, hence its nickname.

White face with black markings.

Strong fliers with the ability to reach speeds of over 40mph during migration.

Tends to stay in large flocks with other birds to minimise risk of attack from predators such as Sparrowhawks and Peregrines.

Roosts in the centre of big fields or on coastal mudflats with good visibility to detect predators.

Mainly eats insects, earthworms, spiders and other small invertebrates.

The fields are also close to land which is not intensively farmed, rich in food.

It's also an area with a high water table so the birds don't have to work to hard to find worms, insects and other nutrients.

Amongst the species which live on the moor are Meadow Pipits, Golden Plover, Curlew and Lapwing.

In the spring Lapwings put on a fantastic, eye-catching display with courtship rituals that resemble a well-choreographed ballet.

This medium sized birds looks black and white from a distance, but the upper parts of its wing are actually a beautiful, iridescent bottle green mixed with bronze and purple.

The Lapwing's most distinctive feature is its beautiful crest - watch for its loud, 'tumbling' display flights.

Daffodil dale

DaffodilsLow Mill at the southern end of Farndale is one of the most beautiful dales in the whole of Yorkshire.

When the most recent Ice Age was coming to an end, three glaciers which had converged on these hills melted and carved great slices in the landscape, resulting in the landscape we see today.

One of nature's phenomenon takes place here every spring - a huge carpet of yellow Daffodils, an unparalleled sight anywhere in the UK.

The area is so good for daffodils because of its damp landscape with open woods near the river, together with farmland that hasn't been intensively managed.

No fertiliser has been used here so the grass has not been encouraged to grow out-compete the flowers.

These wild Daffodils are different to the domestic type seen in ordinary gardens - these are much smaller and more delicate.

They're sometimes called Lent Lilies and they've been growing in this dale for hundreds if not thousands of years.

When these flowers have bloomed, the farmers let their stock in to graze and deadhead the flowers which strengthens the bulb for the following year.

Farndale is also a good place to spot other plant species including March Marigold.

Photo credits

Photographs courtesy of Natural England.



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