Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Rocks and Soils of West Yorkshire

Monday 5th May 2014
                During the last few days we've walked in areas within a 20 miles radius of our home in East Lancashire. Depending on the aspect and altitude of our walks it's made a great difference to the glorious Bluebell displays we've seen. Some have been fully out for more than a week whilst others in the cloughs and deep valleys of the Pennines are just starting to open, so the floral displays in these various locations really do extend the season.
              What is also very noticeable is the types of rock in our area, the alkaline limestone woods carry many more flowers amongst the Bluebells compared to the hard acidic millstone grit woodland areas.

A mixture of Early Purple Orchid, Primrose,Cowslip and Anemone growing in the alkaline soil amongst the Bluebells

      Compare this to the acid soil woodlands around Hebden Bridge in the deeper valleys and cloughs

The bluebells are only just opening in these colder Pennine valleys and the only flower growing amongst them with any merit is the Pink Purslane

If the valley lacks the variety of flowers it makes up for it with the dozens of Hairy Wood Ant nests around Gibsons Mill at Hard Castle Crags

 A quick sketch in oils looked looked quite accomplished from this distance

Which type of woodland do I prefer?, there's no easy answer but I think I,ll go for the Limestone Woodland because of the variety of flora


  1. Thank you for your help ! we did enjoy our trip to England. We were enchanted, until saturday. We broke the hired car in Wrynose Pass, near Ambleside. The recovery was epic....

  2. Another flower I have not recorded, Pink Purslane, I am into my insects at the moment, but I don't think I would have got to close to them ants, not keen. The ant hill looks huge.