Forge ValleySaturday 1st July 2000
ON OUR WAY HOME we take a coffee break in the birdwatchers' car park at Forge Valley, a quiet wooded gorge, near Scarborough. While only one Chaffinch is tempted by the peanuts that we've got on offer, stacked up along the windscreen wipers, we also get close views of Nuthatches, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Jays and various Tits; Coal, Great and Blue. Three Grey Squirrels come along and, after tussling with each other, sit on a bird table each to nibble away.
As we drive towards Dalby Forest along a hedged lane we notice a small Shrew crossing the road. A little further on a Stoat has just caught a Vole and is dragging it off into the hedge.
We haven't got time for much more than a drive through the forest on our way home, with a short stop at the farm for lunch but what we see of the extensive plantations, interspersed with streamside habitats and heathy clearings make us realise that we should come back to explore. Orchids are in flower on the verges.
Dalby Forest Drive, stretches nine miles, from the village of Thornton-le-Dale north east to the toll gate near Bickley Gate Farm. It is managed by Forest Enterprise.