You’ll have to bear with me for this one, and there again you may be interested, but as you’ve been walking the hills in the Yorkshire Dales have you noticed those grassy mounds in some pastureland. There aren’t many areas but I’ve always found them fascinating.
They seem to just be there for no rhyme nor reason but of course there must be a very good reason. A friend once told me they were called bearded eskers, after this I was totally hooked, but having tried to do a little research on this I can find nothing now, perhaps I have the spelling incorrect, although I seem to remember with previous research this did mention that bearded eskers may be found in much colder climes than we have here.
Some say where the mounds are that it is known as upper calcareous grassland and others say the actual mounds are ant hills. If ant hills they are they are by no means all occupied and a good percentage have been abandoned. With the upper calcareous grassland there should be certain species of wild flowers on them but again this doesn’t seem to always follow and I have yet to find an occupied ant hill. All very mysterious and I feel more research ‘in the field’ is needed, preferably in Wensleydale! Bishopdale, Walden, Swaledale, Coverdale and Nidderdale are all possible research grounds too, could take a while. What bliss! If you’d like to read more please follow these links https://www.floodplainmeadows.org.uk/sites/www.floodplainmeadows.org.uk/files/Anthills%20in%20grassland%20restoration%20Tim%20King_1.pdf https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/habitats/grassland/upland-calcareous-grassland and any information you may have I would love to know.
Of course, all our cottages are a perfect base for searching out these particular areas. Do call me, Nadine, or my daughter Joanne, on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice or do book online if you wish. Hear from you very soon!
Written By Nadine Bell