We hear of the farming community some two hundred years ago when Swindale Beck was made straight. It’s ‘an anthropogenic landscape’ says Lee Schofield, RPSB site-manager.
A distant peregrine calls. Redpoll are everywhere in the birch trees. Ringlets fly in the light rain, the only butterfly to do this. My companions are sharp-eyed and eager. Someone finds a migrant hawker, an immature male, I think. There’s always a helpful hand to show caterpillars deep in vegetation, to hold aside blades of grass for photographers. Sharing finds, sharing what we know, makes it so rewarding.
Heading back on the track beside Swindale Beck we find a colony of tortoiseshell larvae wreaking havoc in a bed of nettles, its leaves strewn with frass- their black droppings.
Enter Swindale and Hob Grumble Gill in Search ( top right of blog page) and you may read of earlier visits to Swindale, Haweswater and Hob Grumble Gill. In 2016 the restoration project was in full swing – today, Lee Scholfied, RSPB site manager is our guide. My thanks to him for interpreting the landscape, its wildlife and the 2016 restoration project. The RPSB has a video entitled Swindale Beck, which gives an overview of the project.
Thanks to everyone at Arnside Natural History group for a sharing of enthusiasm and expertise.