has small white flowers this month, oak is coming into leaf, gorse is
in flower and I'm being eaten by midges as I stand here, drawing on this
From the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Upper Park Wood reserve
near Honley there are views over Holmfirth. For us this is something of
a hidden valley because we're usually heading out either Holmfirth
or Huddersfield way so we miss the valley that connects the two towns.
It looks like appealing countryside to explore; it's got steeper hills
and deeper valleys than the gentler landscape around us, 10 miles or so
to the north east, but it's still green and wooded, unlike the bleaker-looking
moor tops which dominate the skyline as many miles to the west.
With its open slopes of unimproved acidic grassland and its central bluebell
wood following a gully, this is a small but attractive reserve. There's
a programme of management in place to improve the habitat still further,
with planting of gorse and shrubs on the slopes on either side of the
wood. We notice an owl box attached to the branch of an oak tree.
Taste of Sorrel
After reading about delicious sorrel soup yesterday, I can't resist
tasting a leaf of sorrel, which is now in pink
flower. I'm expecting it to be peppery and astringent, like rocket,
but to my surprise it's sweet, more like basil.