In a hidden corner of Bransdale in the North York Moors, there is a quite remarkable tree. A multi-stemmed, partially collapsed Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata).
According to a biological survey carried out by the National Trust, it’s very unlikely to have been planted here and so, is of particular significance.
- The species is found in places which have had a long ecological continuity such as ancient woods, old hedgebanks and on crags and cliffs.
- It is mainly a southern species, a relict from warmer times.
- It reaches the northern limit of its British range in Yorkshire and the Lake District, so this tree is one of the most northerly native specimens!
- It is generally only capable of natural regeneration by vegetative means; it is therefore unable to colonise new sites.
- However, the tree having now regenerated by layering (due to a recent collapse of the original tree) means a new generation of small-leaved lime have been created.
‘We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had suffered, starved, and triumphed, grovelled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole. We had seen God in his splenders, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.’
– Ernest Shackleton, South: The Endurance Expedition
Yesterday, whilst out working with some of the rangers from the National Trust’s Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, we spotted a large flock (100+) of Waxwing. These incredibly cool looking winter visitors with distinctive Mohican tufts are a favourite of mine!
Large numbers can arrive in the UK when there is a shortage of food in their Scandinavian breeding grounds. So seemingly, this year and into the next, with the abundance of berries available there could be (hopefully) more encounters to come…
What is thought to be the lower jawbone from a Harbour Porpoise (due to the number of sockets, or holes, where teeth would have been). Shown to me by the rangers from National Trust’s Souter Lighthouse and The Leas.