Friday, 7 September 2018

Were have you been just lately....?

I do hope you are all well and after a long hot summer , enjoying the cool breeze of Autumn.  

I have spent most of the summer month's out riding my bike, a E-bike and a road bike. Starting with just 4 miles I am now riding up to... on one occasion 53 miles but it is normally about 20/30.

You get to see so much more than in a car, go further than walking. So today I took my camera on one of my favourite local rides.

Yeadon , Otley, back lane to Ilkley through Askwith. Over the bridge to Ben Rhydding through  Burley in Wharfedale, Menston, Guiseley and home.
Round about 20 miles.

Here is a snap shot of what I get to see on this lovely ride.

High Royds

 High Royds Hospital is a former psychiatric hospital south of the village of Menston, West Yorkshire, England. Now a housing estate. 

Blue bricked houses in Otley.

The only mention I can find is this ...
The tiles which cover these houses were originally intended for a swimming pool, however construction on the pool was cancelled after the tiles had already been produced. Since someone then found themselves with a load of tiles and nothing to do with them they were sold to the people building these houses.

Westgate Warehouses

You’ll have to go off the beaten path for this one. You’ll find these warehouses next to Otley’s bustling Westgate, and they’re a fine example of old Victorian architecture. They were home to the lauded Jeffries Haulage Company headquarters for decades, but they left the site in the early 2000s and fire gutted some of the buildings in 2009. They’re still standing now, however, and provide a lasting reminder of a widely known and respected Otley business.

Westgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3HD.

(9 Unbelievable Abandoned Buildings in Leeds)

Stocks and Mill stone at the top of church Ln,

All Saints Church, Weston, Otley
Well worth a look

Elephant Trees above Menston and Guiseley

Humulus lupulus

It is a dioecious species, which means that hop plants are either male or female. These flower in different ways: the male grows in green-yellow clusters while the female grows paler cone-shaped catkins which turn brown and papery when ripe.

Cultivated land and hedges.

Best time to see
July-August when it flowers.

Did you know:
Hops are, of course, most famous for being used in brewing beer. However, it has been used down the centuries in a variety of ways: the Roman naturalist Pliny, describes it being eaten much like we eat asparagus today. It has also been used as a herb and to produce brown dye.

County flower of Kent.

Hop boughs decorate the bar of many Kentish pubs, and the plant appears on the arms of Tonbridge at the heart of the hop-growing country.


Askwith is a small village, about 15kms southwest of Harrogate, on the north side of the river Wharfe between Ilkley and Otley. 

Although the parish church is in the neighbouring village of Weston, the vicarage has been in Askwith since the early 18605. The best remembered of its occupants is the Reverend Charles Tweedale, a cele- brated spiritualist. and noted musician, remembered today for the many fine violins he made. 

On entering the village, a left turn down Back Lane leads to the Quaker meeting house, now a private house. The burial ground is still in evidence, dating back to the 1600s. 
The Wharfedale Steadfast Lodge is still flourishing, celebrating 150 years in 1993. This 'Sick Club' was formed by local people, and ensured members of a weekly sum when ill, and a payment on death to ensure a 'decent burial'. 

Askwith has a busy village hall, and whilst there are no shops, there is a post office and a hostelry , the Black Horse. The village has changed very little, with only a few new houses, old people's bungalows and farm dwellings. 

Askwith has had its share of characters. One, Charlie Holmes the mole catcher, when asked on a television interview why he had never married, replied 'Eh I hadn't time, me moles kept me busy'. 

Old drinking fountain in wall Askwith

House Martin nest.

 Looking up Askwith Ln towards the school.

Looking over the field to the Cow and Calf above Ilkley.

Female pheasant

Denton Hall

"Located in an elevated position high above the historic spa town of Ilkley, our Grade 1 listed Georgian country house is home to some of the finest examples of 18th century d├ęcor.
The original estate dates back to 1253, however, the hall was burned down around 1734 and was rebuilt by Henry Ibbetson, only to be destroyed by fire again in 1743.

It was Sir John Ibbetson who, in 1776, commissioned John Carr, of York – renowned as the leading architect of his era in the North of England – to create the Denton Hall we know today. Carr also designed Harewood House and the stable block of Castle Howard.

The hall is set in the heart of 2,500 acres of colourful, secluded, landscaped grounds, which feature their own manicured lawns, mature woodlands, working farms and two lakes – bringing a picturesque blend of tranquillity and sophistication - the perfect backdrop to our wide range of sporting and team-building activities.

It features four meeting rooms, two communal breakout areas and a dedicated dining room serving home-made food, scones and biscuits.

It is a unique and inspiring venue for hosting business meetings, conferences, seminars, training and creative team-building events, and product launches."



As suggested by the Old English derivation of the village name (fortification or clearing in the River Wharfe valley), Burley in Wharfedale was originally a small agricultural community with likely Roman and Anglo-Saxon roots. Burley developed in the late 18th and 19th centuries into an industrial village with many residents employed at Greenholme Mills, cotton mills powered from a goit fed from the River Wharfe. The cotton mill no longer operates, but the goit is now utilised to provide hydro electric power, and a weir remains.


St John's is the Parish Church for Menston and Burley Woodhead and is part of the Diocese of Leeds. It has been a place of worship since 1871.

Menston is a village and civil parish in the county of West Yorkshire, England. Along with Burley in Wharfedale, part of Menston is within Wharfedale Ward in the metropolitan borough of the City of Bradford. The remainder of Menston is in the Leeds City Council area.

New Birks Farm - Ings Lane Guiseley

Would love to buy this old farm house and do it up.


....fancy another ride out one day........

Saturday, 19 May 2018

My... Mr Fly what big eyes you have...

Ramsons (Allium ursinum)

18 May 2018

To day was my first trip to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature Reserve this year, during the winter months it is a quiet place but in summer it bursts open with flowers and insects.

I had hoped to spot a few Early Orchids but nothing was showing, looking back last year it was June when I took this photo. But the leaves should have been showing.

June 2017

Chiffchaffs were out singing the Willow Warblers so hard to see amongst the trees now the leaves are out.

Field Forget-me-not

Ground Ivy
Wall speedwell
The edges of the path is covered in bramble and flowering Hawthorn trees, it was not hard to spot the many insects making most of the flowering plants.
The first of many Dameselflies

I still need to find a ID for this Damselfly, as you can see it is black with blue stripes, not blue with black stripes ... like the common blue.


Red-and-black Froghopper - Cercopis vulnerata
Leafhoppers, planthoppers, froghoppers, treehoppers and cicadas are a sub-order of insects from the order Hemiptera.
There are around 400 species in the UK



Crosswort is distinctive in that it displays tiny, yellow flowers that surround four-leaved whorls around the stem. The other yellow-flowered member of the bedstraw family, Lady's Bedstraw, has clusters of flowers at the ends of its stems giving it a more 'frothy' appearance.

Ramsons (Allium ursinum)

The bulb of the plant was used to create tonics to relieve rheumatic problems and lower cholesterol, and 
 this species can be used to aid identification of ancient woodland sites.

Ramsons (Allium ursinum)

The grove snail or brown-lipped snail
Beetles represent the largest insect group with around 4,000 species in Britain and 300,000 worldwide. They are easy to recognise as their front wings are hard, covering the second pair of wings and the abdomen. All beetles have biting mouth-parts.

I think this is a Green Leaf Weevil  (Phyllobius maculicornis)

Wood Forget-me-not.

Although Water Forget-me-not may have been the source of many early garden varieties of this popular plant, most are now forms of Wood Forget-me-not. A pretty plant with bright blue flowers, Wood Forget-me-not can be found along woodland rides and edges, in ancient and wet woods, and sometimes in hedgerows and verges as an escaped garden variety. It flowers between April and June.

Wood Forget-me-not has hairy stems and narrow, oval leaves. Clusters of five-petalled, azure-blue flowers with white or orange centres appear at the tops of the stems.(LINK)

Wood Forget-me-not.

Snipe Fly /Male
Snipe-flies are active predators and can often be found sat head-down on fence posts or sunny tree trunks on the look-out for passing prey. They catch smaller insects in flight, taking them back to their look-out post to eat. The larvae live in soil and leaf litter, and are also predatory. The Downlooker Snipe-fly is the most common species. (LINK)

 Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora)

Common Carpet

This fly Gymnocheta viridis  had to be one of my favourite insects I came across to day, it's so ugly but amazing  at the same time. They adults feed on pollen and nectar, whilst the larva feed on caterpillars etc.