Sunday, 20 June 2010

22. Wednesday 16 June 2010.

With the archaeological field survey on hold for the summer, our attentions turned to the botanical survey of the Whitfield site. It was a perfect day for wandering around the reservoir area drawing up a checklist of flowers. The recent improvement in weather has resulted in an eruption of flowers across the site, and the distribution patterns show a remarkable difference from a week ago.

The distributions indicate that the site consists of many more mini-habitats than we had realised – the mill site itself showing how disturbance from the activities of the mill, cottages and reservoir construction has affected the ground in different ways.

Alan spent much of the day on macro photography of specific plants. Every now and then we could see a head popping up out of the hollows and behind embankments as he made precise adjustments to the camera or tripod.

Cuckoo flower © Alan Williams

So far we have found the variety of plants is not as wide as we anticipated, and what we are finding are mostly very common species found all over the Yorkshire Dales. But in a way, the typical nature of the plantlife here means that the area may be seen as a useful model for studies elsewhere.

Jane Lunnon, UWHG Archivist

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