Sunday, 16 June 2013

YWT Sherburn Willows - 15 June 2013

Following our brief visit to Bolton Percy Station, we headed west to Tadcaster and then south to Sherburn-in-Elmet. Heading straight through the town, we turned right down New Lane and past the High School on the right. You can park at the end opposite the entrance to a business and at the head of a track by a metal barrier. We followed the track down through the Oilseed Rape fields to a gate, which we went through and turned immediately left along the path. From here you can see the kissing gate and sign at the entrance to the nature reserve. And what a stunning place! The track winds up along the limestone slope with lovely views to the west, over rolling countryside. The grassland was frosted white with thousands of blooming Ox-eye Daisies. Among these were large patches of yellow Bird's-foot Trefoil and here and there the first Common Spotted Orchids poking through. We headed along the ridge and then dropped down the valley side into the marshy area alongside Mill Dike. The area was very dry though presumably gets very boggy. Lots of Yellow Flag were flowering here and a Whitethroat was zipping around feeding young. A bird shot into the bushes at the far end which I was sure was a Turtle Dove, but given their scarcity in Yorkshire these days, I couldn't be certain. After a walk round the path that has been cut in a snaking track through the marsh, we headed up the hill and back along the ridge. On the way back we came across a nice little patch of Sainfoin near the small quarried area. A lovely spot and I would like to revisit a little later to see the orchids in all their glory.

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