Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

Oak, Ash and Ivy

Tuesday 14th March 2000

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ivy-covered ash siskins AT THE ENTRANCE to the woods a pair of Siskins fly up into the branches of an ivy-covered Ash. I fear that this old tree, like all the those surrounding this woodland-edge meadow, might soon be in danger from construction work, from the effects of nearby hard surfacing, or from the new owners of the planned houses who might think these trees are long overdue for a good pruning back.

ivy berries As I've already mentioned, I was, as I saw it, threatened with financial ruin because I spoke up for the wildlife at the public enquiry into this scheme. This week the local newspaper reports that the developer has been awarded costs totalling tens of thousands of pounds, towards his expenses for the enquiry. Today the celandine in the field blooms behind a high metal-grid fence. It's a shame that in England we can't save places like this.

lapwing The berries on the ivy in the hedgerow have now ripened to purple-black.

lapwing A Lapwing displays, diving and calling - its 'pew-it!' cry - over the rushy field. It's good to hear its call again. They were regular here years ago; perhaps a succession of dry summers dried out the field, making it difficult to find them to find the larvae and worms they feed on. Last year there was standing water on the field in every month of the year, and I don't think I'd seen that happen for the previous, say, ten years.

oak saplingoak leaves For a moment, I think a flock of twenty birds is coming towards us with a bobbing flight. Then I realise that a sudden gust has dislodged the old dry leaves of an oak sapling.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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