‘A’ Sharron Lea ‘B’ George Gibson
The day started with thick fog as 2 coaches with 63 members travelled to Aysgarth, stopping for coffee in Leyburn. Upon arrival, 28 members set out on the ‘A’ walk in foggy conditions while after lunch 30 members did the ‘B’ walk starting by crossing the Yore Bridge and viewing the High Force waterfalls and as we passed through woodland leading to the National Parks visitor centre we spotted the first bluebell – much earlier in flower than normal. We crossed the road into Freeholders Wood and were greeted with a wonderful display of wood anemones carpeting the floor. We also viewed Middle Force and Lower Force before leaving the woods to cross grassy fields and tracks to reach Thoresby Lane, an old drovers road. In this lane we crossed a shallow stream with a fine display of butterbur flowering in the water. By this time, the fog had disappeared and it became hot and sunny. We climbed up the road to reach Castle Bolton and rested for 20 minutes. Some opted for ice creams while others viewed the castle as there was free entry. We descended over fields to Carperby and walked through the village. Further field paths were followed to reach Freeholders Wood. We retraced our route over Yore Bridge and finished the walk with a steep short climb back to the coach park. A brilliant start to the season.
Flowers: ash, bluebell, butterbur, dog violet, dogs mercury, hazel catkin, lesser celandine, primrose, snowdrop, wild strawberry, wood anemone.
Other: bee, ducks, ladybird, lambs, wasp, heard woodpecker knocking.