Roundabouts and verges along Burley-in-Wharfedale’s bypass have become unlikely nature havens with the help of local wildlife enthusiasts.
Grassland wildflower seed mix was sown on the green spaces when the bypass was built, but a regular grass-cutting regime by Bradford Council did not give the flowers the chance to set seed.
Burley Village Wildlife Group held talks with the Council about a change in the grass cutting regime, which encouraged wild plants to flourish while ensuring road safety was not compromised.
Five years down the road, the roundabouts and verges now boast wildflowers such as daffodils, buttercups, ox-eye daisies, knapweed, wild carrot and scabious.
Local naturalists say this in turn supports a variety of insects, including species in decline such as bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies, hoverflies and moths.
The project impressed a passing Yorkshire Dales Road Verge Project conservation officer, who said he was “bowled over” by the array of wildflowers, on one of the most flower-rich verges he had seen in the region. (Taken from the Ilkley Gazette 2011)
I had gone to see the Cowslips growing on the verges.
They looked stunning in the sun and it was so nice to see so many, over the years they are starting to spread further away from were they were planted.
While I was bent down amongst the flowers , I could see Bumble Bees and Hover flies buzzing around.
Then this chap came along...a Bee-Fly Bombyliidae
Straight away I new what it was as I had seen so many on other peoples blogs, and was getting a little jealous that I had not seen one.
WHO NEW THEY WERE SO SMALL !!!!
because we take (or try) photos of insects close up I had not realised from other peoples photographs they were so small, I had visions they were the size of your small finger, but they are the size of a child's little finger nail.
In all the excitement it was hard to get a good photo before it moved of, I kept on loosing it in the grass as it tried to get warm in the sun and I did not want to crush any of the flowers as well.
On this photo you can make out its long proboscis. Now I have seen one , I know what to look for and hope to see another...
as well as the odd sheep.
This reminded me of a teenager who just could not be bothered to get up to feed !
And this was the other teenager having a bad hair day.
The Cowslips were growing on the main roundabouts in the by-pass,
can you see the Westie enjoying his ride out.
If the traffic is not to bad you can cross over in to a small wood that follows the river Wharfe then opens up into fields, we get Sand martins using the bankings, not to day but did see some House Martins
Wild flowers are starting to come through in the wood.
Then on to the river.
It's another beautiful spot to go to in my area.
Just one more sheep photo :)