Saturday, 18 May 2019

Two sides to a man made Forest

15 May 2019.

First of all, I have been all over and seen many things this past month but never seem to get round to Blogging. The computer is on it's last legs and takes for ever to do the simplest of tasks ! so you just end up not using it.

This week I have been on holiday and had the most wonderful time out in nature,
  Stainburn Forest is my new favourite place to go so I wanted to share with you.

Mountain Biking and walking, what more could you need from a forest. The east side has recently been felled, however new pine trees have been planted. This side of the woods offers a variety of walks through the trees. The west side (Norwood Edge) hosts one of the North's best purpose built single track.

I have ridden through or to the forest a few times but it is a good 35 mile round trip on my bike so I took the car and parked in the top car park of Broad Dubb rd, the forest is not far from Harrogate and you get good views of the Golf Balls on Menwith Hill, Fewston and Swinsty reservoir are also in the area.

On entering the car park there were many Butterflies to see.

Orange Tip

At first I thought this was a Dingy Skipper , but actually it is a day flying moth called

 Mother Shipton moth

Not seen either of them before so they are easily confused, they are tinny .

Green-veined white Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly 
There are many paths to explore,  through the trees but the main one takes you through the land right over to the other side to a farm road which leads to Lindley Wood Reservoir.

Birds were singing every where and it was quite hard to concentrate on one sound.

Most of the birds were Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Bulfinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Mistle Thrush and Meadow Pipit.

Often singing high up on top of the pine trees, so I would recommend taking a pair of Binoculars .

Speckled Wood Butterfly
The day was warm so there was a LOT of butterflies out, did notice the numbers dropped as the day got hotter by mid day.

Birds Foot Trefoil - Lotus corniculatus

Small patches of Birds Foot Trefoil  growing but no Blue butterflies were spotted today.

Along the pat there are dikes, drainage for the forest. They were filled with wildflowers and insects. Birds were drinking and bathing in the water too.

One one side there was farm lad as far as the eye could see, Rooks, Jackdaw, Meadow pipit and reports of Raven in the area were in the fields.

Blue Skies 
Sheep and Lambs in the fields

Came across this beautiful clump of Daffodils, not sure how they got here.

Bleached wood from the elements, discarded from past felling. Now providing a home of insects.

Cuckoo flower  (Cardamine pratensisalso)

commonly known as 'Lady's-smock', is a pretty, springtime perennial of damp, grassy places like wet meadows, ditches and riverbanks, as well as roadside verges. Its pale pink flowers bloom from April to June and are thought to coincide with the arrival of the first Cuckoo - a sure sign that spring has arrived at last.
It was growing everywhere, at one point there must have been a butterfly on every plant.

Cinnabar moth

I saw a few Cinnabar moth, but so hard to get a photo, while photographing this moth this Shell bug wandered through the grass. A new Shell bug for me.

Dolycoris baccarum Hairy Shieldbug
Family: Pentatomidae

A large and distinctive purple-brown and greenish shieldbug which is covered with long hairs. The antennae and connexivum are banded black and white. During the winter, the ground colour becomes uniformly dull brown.

This bug overwinters as an adult, emerging in the spring. Larvae, which are also hairy, may be found on numerous plants, particularly those in the Roasaceae. The new generation is complete from August onwards.

Common and widepsread in many habitats throughout Britain, particularly hedgerows and woodland edges, becoming scarcer and mainly coastal in the north.

Small Tortoiseshell/ butterfly

I did get to see some Bees today, the day before I had gone to Barden Bridge Nr  Bolton Abby, and did not see one bee!

Meadow Pipit
Orange tip / butterfly
I think there are a few different kinds of Pine trees growing in the forest, it will take a bit research to find their names. They all looked beautiful, different coloured cones growing from red to green.

Woodland path 
Water pools


Green veined 
I had now reached my destination, a bench overlooking the hills next to a pond, nothing at that moment could have been better.

What a place to have lunch.

In the pond there was Tadpoles, and a Large red damselfly landed briefly.

At the far side you can see where they have felled a large patch of trees but have all ready planted new ones. 
Jackdaws were playing.

This insect landed on my hand, made me jump...shall we say it was not small!
Another new insect for me.

Two-banded longhorn beetle (Rhagium bifasciatum) 

Two-banded longhorn beetle (Rhagium bifasciatum) 

Rhagium bifasciatum, sometimes called the two-banded longhorn beetle, is one of the most common longhorn beetles in Europe.
I shared my seat with spiders warming them self's in the sun, I think they are

Wolf spiders

Red and black frog hopper (Cercopis vulnerata)

Nomada cuckoo bee

Some trees had fallen in a past storm.

On the way back I walked past the land that has been felled, it is absence of life....

......but if you look closely nature is moving back in...

This flower loves living in rough disturbed  ground,

Climbing Corydalis - Ceratocapnos claviculata 

I notice this pine tree has grown a bit wrong, it's called 


Fasciated stems are produced due to abnormal activity in the growing tip of the plant. Often, an abnormal number of flowers are produced on affected stems.

The sky was filled with Buzzards and the floor littered with Butterflies, now that's my kinda rubbish.


  1. What a wonderful post - such a lovely place to walk and the photos are gorgeous :) You saw a great selection of wild life especially the insects. Fascinated by the Mother Shipton moth - my son desperately wants to see one! I gathered though that they are tiny. The forest must be quite close to where we stayed a few years ago as I remember driving past the golf balls and having to research what they are. Lovely to have such a good place to walk that is rich in wildlife not too far away from where you live :)

    1. Thank Rr, yes not far from where you were. Beautiful area takes about half an hour in the car. Hoping the weather is ok tomorrow as we are of to explore some of the other paths on the bikes,

  2. HI Amanda, what an amazing post with lots of great images. Looks like you have found a good place to go again.
    Hm! Menwith Hill, been there more times than I care to remember.

    1. Thanks Roy for the lovely comment, you have got me interested now. Was you based there ?

    2. At various times for my sins Amanda.

  3. What a wonderful post full of so much. A photo at the top is not unlike one I took in 2016 when visiting UK & had lunch at Swinsty Reservoir & a short walk. Thank you for taking us along & capturing your walk in photos. Take care.

    1. Thank you Susan, so pleased you enjoyed seeing a old place you have been, of again tomorrow to explore some more of the area.

  4. What a beautiful place to bike and hike and search for butterflies and wildflowers! The felled forest made me sad, but then you showed us how life is finding a way back in. :)

    1. Thank you so much Beth, it was so nice to see so many Butterflies and wild flowers, thankfully nature always finds it's way back.

  5. Ah this is lovely, i'm glad you posted about it :) I can't think of anything more perfect than just sitting and enjoying such a view and the bird song. This is definitely on my to visit list!

    1. Thanks Pam, you really must try out this area there is so much to see and the views are stunning all round.

  6. New visitor to your blog. What a lovely place to walk and so much to see. Great photos!

    1. So nice to have you along Julie, just followed your blog and had a quick look, your photos are stunning. will have a proper read.

  7. Another lovely looking place in that band of land between Otley, Ilkley and Harrogate.
    It looks as though you have done a great piece on a forestry plantation, not one of my favourites habitats, but you make me want to go and see it. Thank you.

    1. Thanks John, it's a lovely walk through on the main path to the seat, we were up at the weekend on our bikes exploring some of the other places, so much to see and worth a few visits. Might be one of those places were one day you might not see much another loads. The car park can be full on a weekend if the weather is good. During the week I have had the whole place to myself.