Hardcastle Crags: a Yorkshire wood

Christine Tansey's picture

Hardcastle Crags is a wooded valley close to where I grew up in West Yorkshire, and last weekend I enjoyed a rare spring-time walk there. Even though I can get a rough picture of what is going on in woodlands across the UK from your results as they get submitted, there is nothing quite like visiting another place to highlight the differences, and similarities, between woods.

Ash had reached a later stage of leafing than in my Track a Tree wood at Roslin Glen, and some large Beech trees were entirely in leaf, helping shade the woodland floor. Hardcastle Crags has a greater number of Scots pines than my wood and it was interesting to see the bluebells throughout the valley, flowering under a range of tree species. I particularly enjoyed seeing banks covered in Greater stitchwort, and the huge nests of the Northern Hairy Wood Ant; both sights that are absent from Roslin.


On my return to Scotland this week, I found that the Ramsons had turned parts of the glen into a galaxy of white flowers, a sure sign that we’re reaching late spring. Many of you will have finished or be nearing the end of Track a Tree 2015 recording and I’m getting pretty excited about seeing all your records, so please do submit them when you can! I’ll be visiting my trees until the bluebells start to fade and the canopy cover has thickened up, I hope you also enjoy the woods during this part of the season.