Tuesday 18 June 2024

Wildflower Wander

A Wildflower Wander from Keld to Muker over Kisdon Hill and return through Keld Woods

The month of June is paradise for lovers of wild flowers.

Foxgloves love the shelter of a dry stone wall

Ragged Robin loves damp conditions found at the side of a stream.

Field pansies

I chose to walk to Muker via Kisdon Hill as I love to see the pansies growing wild up there.  There are several varieties;  some are two shades of blue as above, others are blue & yellow and some are all yellow.  They are delightful.  Pretty faces in an otherwise harsh moorland environment.

A little higher up Cotton Flower waves gently in the breeze.

Mountain Alyssum cascading over an exposed stone.

As the land begins to fall the Swaledale valley with its patchwork of meadow fields and the huddle of buildings which make up Muker village suddenly unfolds out of nowhere.  

Above:  Rock Roses and the first stile into the meadows with a sign asking visitors to keep to the path.

The path back to Keld takes you through the famous Muker hay meadows.  Six tiny meadow fields each surrounded by dry stone walls with gated stiles to a stone pathway giving perfect access to the myriad of wild flowers & grasses growing here.
Today I noticed how well the red clover is doing this year (its the same in our meadows at Pry House Farm). Muker meadows are noted for the abundance of Wood Cranesbill.  Other favourites are Eyebright, Pignut, Hawk's Bit, Ladies Mantle & Bugle

Leaving the beautiful Muker hay meadows behind turn left at the fingerpost signposted Keld.  Here the path follows the river for a couple of miles passing by the derelict remains of a community known as Hartlakes.  Look right through the trees to the other side of the river where the evidence of the long-gone industrial age of lead mining stares back at you.  If you are interested in the lead mining history of the area call in at the Living History Museum in the tiny old school building in Keld.  It is full of information and artifacts relating to Keld's lead mining, agricultural and social past Old School Keld Living Museum.  A little further on and the path takes you through Keld Woods.  Its darker and more damp here providing a cooler, shadier environment for floweres and ferns that thrive in these conditions.  Its as if time has stood still with primroses, bluebells, forget-me-not and speedwell all still in flower in mid June.

Water Avens or Billy's Buttons

As the path opens out on the approach to Keld there are yet more varieties of wild flowers to spot.  The Keld to Muker circular is one I have done many times.  Usually its the stunning scenery that gets all the attention but today the flowers were centre stage. 

Dog Rose

Melancholy Thistle and Wood Cranesbill

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