Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Pen-y-ghent... it never disappoints

Tuesday 7th April 2015
                           Today we've been on our annual early spring walk up Pen-y-ghent to find the Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga Oppositiflora) the flower of the mountains it is a true arctic flower and as always we weren't disappointed. Depending on the severity of the winter the saxifrage begins to open in early March but in general it's at its best in early April. It grows on the 1900 ft contour on the limestone cliffs on the side of Pen-y-ghent. It is one of the first arctic spring flowers to open and it can flower all summer in the mountains where the snow melts later, it has been found as high as 4,505 meters in the Swiss Alps.
                         We've been climbing Pen-y-ghent for over 30 years in the spring and the sight of this Arctic Flower growing in the harsh surroundings is something we'll never tire of.

                   Approaching Pen-y-ghent along the Pennine Way

                 The first of the many locations that we found today

                            The steep south side of the Mountain

                              The summit of this popular mountain

Frogs beginning to spawn in this shallow tarn near to the summit, they've already spawned in my garden 4 weeks ago. What a difference in the seasons owing to the altitude.

           Returning down the steep south side down the Pennine Way

Probably the best saxifrage specimens of the day near to the path, but people pass by without as much of a glance

Pen-y-ghent, another satisfying walk


  1. Breathtaking, David. Probably in more ways than one!

  2. How lovely to see the saxifrage, last year when we went up end of March we had to battle our way through snow storms, I did get to see the plant briefly, your photos makes the area lovely (which it is) might not get up Pen-y-gent this year, doing my yearly trip to Wharfe woods near Feizor on Saturday.
    Amanda xx

  3. Nice blog David.