Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

Ear Fungus, Candle-snuff & Ironstone

candle-snuffWednesday, 21st February, 2007
ear fungusWITH MY HORBURY WALKS booklet successfully launched, I've set out to do another one. I spent Monday and Tuesday checking out routes around Newmillerdam Country Park, south-east of Wakefield. I'm more concerned with way-finding and landmarks than natural history but while I had my digital camera around my neck I've been taking a few close-ups of catkins, fungi and rocks.

Ear fungus (left) often grows on elder bushes and on other logs.

Candle-snuff fungus (right) also grows old stumps.

concretionThis ironstone concretion (left) was in the sandstone on a bridge across an old railway, now used as a walk and cycle-path. It's about the size of a grapefruit.

We've walked around Newmillerdam lake hundreds of times but the five circular walks I've devised for my next booklet have given me a chance to see the Country Park in a wider context and connect it with other familiar places in the district.

There's a lot of history in this landscape and walking around for a couple of days on footpaths, bridleways and old railway walks gives me an impression of what the landscape might have been like in the past. Names like Applehaigh Clough, Lawns Dike, Shroggs Hill Plantation and Gallows Hill conjure up pictures of past landscapes.