It has almost been a year since venturing out for this walk. As with my previous surveys to Darden Lough, Harbottle wood, Kidland and Harwood forest, I mapped this out on ViewRanger to help with navigation. In total the walk was 12.5 miles and the weather was stunning. My dad, uncle, the dogs and me all set out eagerly.
We started the walk entering the valley through the farmers gate onto a single track road. The first sight of lichen on the old wooden fence, Evernia prunastri (Oak Moss), which is one of the more common Fruticose lichens that you will come across. Oakmoss thallus is strap-like and their bodies are highly branched appearing in the form of deer antlers. Colour wise Evernia prunastri is pale green and can range to darker greens depending on exposure to weather and other factors. Evernia prunastri and Pseudevernia furfuracea (Antler lichen) are both used commonly in the perfume industry.
Instantly the valley towered around us with steep grazing fields to each side. This was the same area where I helped collect data for the waxcap survey during my ‘Young Ranger Placement’ scheme in 2019. There are specific seasons for waxcaps and they tend to grow on ancient grasslands that have not been heavily grazed but are not overgrown. The waxcap season starts around September ending early November.