During August the heather is in bloom on the moors turning the landscape a beautiful shade of purple. If you look carefully at the heather you will see that there are three types that occur in Northumberland National Park. Calluna or ling heather is responsible for creating big carpets of colour, bell heather is a pinker relative that grows in rocky and dry areas and cross-leaved heather has pink/purple flowers and grows in wet areas and on bogs.
Heathery areas are also home to feathery friends. red grouse can be found in areas such as Simonside and the Cheviots. Despite being quite big their plumage keeps them well hidden until you get too close. Listen out for their distinct call ‘Go-back, go-back’.
Many of the birds that come to the Park to breed for the summer have now left the moors but you will still be able to see skylarks and meadow pipits flitting in the grass and heather.
From the insect world, mountain bumblebees can be spotted on moorland or adjoining fields hunting out pollen. Look out for their red/orange bums!
Bats are active and can be seen at dawn and dusk all over the Park but particularly near water or when they emerge from buildings. If you are being bitten by midges, remember that one bat can eat thousands of them in an evening, so they are well worth cheering about!
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