Sunday, 14 June 2015

Day 222 - My Local Patch - The Fantastic North York Moors

Bluebells at Silton Forest
Hi all today's Day 222 and I thought today I should do a different post for two reasons. First, it's the Wildlife Trust's #30dayswild campaign at the moment. Second I was asked if I'd like to do a post for the North York Moors, which I really wanted to do as I live in that area and it is a fabulous place for my nature hunting.

I live right in the middle of the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, both of which are amazing places to go to. I spend more time in the Moors though as it`s so close to us and we love the woods and forests, and it has the coast line where we like to see the sea (Whitby in particular). The North York Moors has an incredibly vast range of places to go, from lakes to abbeys, from woodlands to cliffs, as well as the shoreline. All the different environments which are great for exploring and, my favourite activity, nature hunting!
Topping up a puddle full of tadpoles

All that said I am off camping in the Dales tonight!

Anyway I thought I’d tell you about a few of my favourite places in the North York Moors, why I like them and some of the wonderful things I've seen at them.

I will start with the forest that I regularly go to:

The Woodland
The Blue Pheasant

Silton Forest - It’s a great walk and the woodland is quite mixed with deciduous and coniferous trees. It’s got grassy paths, sandy paths and lovely streams so I see quite a lot of different creatures here. My favourite regular sightings here are Jays, Deer and Mice. I have also seen Adders, Slow-worms, Lampreys, Green Tiger Beetles, White Lipped Banded Snails and a Blue Pheasant too! 

I sometimes go to other forests in the North York Moors but definitely not as often as this one.

Cod Beck at dusk just before the
toads start to move.

The Lakes

Cod Beck, Osmotherly - A reservoir just next to moorland. It covers lots of types of area such as coniferous forests and grassland, as well as rivers. A Toad Patrol is held there every Spring to help toads cross the road from the moorland to the lake and vice–versa, it's one of the top ten toad breeding sites in the country. I also saw a lot of goslings here this spring.

An Alderfly at Gormire
Gormire from Sutton Bank
Gormire - This sits beneath Sutton Bank hidden in some beautiful woods. It’s a lovely calm place. The lake was formed by Glaciers and it’s a bit mysterious as it has no streams going in or out of it but it has crystal clear water. It's great for seeing the wildlife in it like the leeches and watersnails. I've also sat and watched swallows hunting for insects across the water here lots of times while having my sandwiches.

The Coast

Sea Anemone at Sandsend
Sandsend - I spend a lot of time here looking around the rock pools. There's lots to see in them and the beach is a great place to spend some time on. The views over to Whitby from here are fantastic too and it's also a very good place for finding fossils. Once me and my Dad got so immersed in fossil hunting we had to make a very quick exit scrabbling up the rocks as the tide was coming in rapidly! Must pay more attention in future! (my Mum was horrified when we told her...!)  I haven't seen much in the Rock Pools but I have found lots of Barnacles, Lichens, Limpets and even Sea Anemones! I like looking along the Coastline to see birds such as Turnstones, Sanderlings, Gulls and Oystercatchers. This is also a place where I can do my #twominutebeachclean and once collected some fishing line, hooks and nets that had been washed up by the tide.

Looking at Whitby from Sandsend

Port Mulgrave - This is a great place for finding fossils - I have found an ammonite at least a metre in circumference (I didn’t take it home, of course!) It’s also a great place to have a good walk as the top is about 100m above the sea, easy getting down and great exercise going back up!

The Moors

I like Sutton Bank!
Sutton Bank - This is a great place to see some very interesting birds that I don’t see very often such as the Yellowhammer, Willow and Marsh Tits and even the Crossbill (though I'm still looking for this one!), there is a great walk from the White Horse over near Kilburn all the way to the Sutton Bank Visitor Centre. They do a great Hot Chocolate! It's great for fungi in the Autumn too. The views from here out over to the Dales and looking over Lake Gormire are so beautiful, and it deserves the sign there that says it is one of the finest views in England (not that my photo does it justice!)

Snilesworth Moor
Snilesworth - There's actually loads of parts of the Moors I could have mentioned. On this part of the moors I often see Red Legged Partridge and Mistle Thrush. The moors can have surprises too and I mentioned Snilesworth as I found a Eucalyptus tree growing here - not the sort of tree you would expect to see high up on a some times cold and windy moor!

The Abbeys

Lichen at Rievaulx
Rievaulx - This is a place that has lots of wildlife all around it, such as on the wooded slopes up to the Temples on the hill above. There are also ancient woodlands nearby. The abbey itself you might think doesn't have much wildlife to see but if you look closely you can see a lot of things. I did a whole post on the Lichens and Cobwebs that I found in just a single wall. You can see it when you click here. It is one of my earliest posts, Day 14 so I am sorry if it isn't as good as the ones that I am producing now.

There are other fantastic abbeys to see in the North York Moors area too including Byland, Whitby and a working abbey at Ampleforth which makes a beer that Dad likes!

A lovely view over the moors

So I hope I've shown off my 'local patch' quite well. It's got so much to offer and much more than I've described here. If you get a chance to visit you'll be glad you did.

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. What a great place to live! Especially like the look of Sutton Bank. Another great blog Zach

  2. Zach - thank you so much for your brilliant blog about the North York Moors - much appreciated. We're lucky it's your 'local patch'.

    Rachel S, North York Moors National Park Authority

    1. My pleasure Rachel, I'd be really happy if you want to post this on your website :-)