Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hebden Wood 30.04.2014

Michael and I had a walk through the wood and we found troops of Helvella acetabulum scattered along the side of the path. 

Vinegar Cup (Helvella acetabulum).

Michael’s photo above.

2014-04-30T20:27:00+01:00April 30th, 2014|0 Comments


 I’ve managed to get a solitary mistletoe plant growing on my apple tree & wondered what other local records there are?

From Mick Harrop

2014-04-30T19:05:00+01:00April 30th, 2014|0 Comments

Peziza violacea

Found these at Mill Bank, near Sowerby Bridge today. They were in someone’s garden fire-basin which they had covered with plywood presumably in an attempt to keep it dry.

I lifted the plywood off and found the rain had got in and wet the ashes where I was pleased to find these colourful gems. They actually looked more pinky-violet than the photo.

I kept a few specimens.

2014-04-30T17:26:00+01:00April 30th, 2014|0 Comments

Important Meeting re North Loop, Cromwell Bottom

On the 8th May there will be a meeting to discuss the proposals relating to the restoration of North Loop Closed Landfill Site, Cromwell Bottom. This meeting will provide a forum to input and discuss matters relating to the creation of biodiversity and access features on this unique development opportunity. The meeting will also provide further information and update on proposals surrounding the installation of a fish ladder and hydro-electricity option at the weir.

As usual, the meeting will be held at the Mulberry Suite, Brighouse 6th Form College, at 7:00pm on Thursday the 8th May.


2014-04-29T20:00:00+01:00April 29th, 2014|0 Comments

Bumblebee ID training session in Centre Vale Park Todmorden

Records of bumblebees are desperately needed for Calderdale and the surrounding areas in order to determine the impacts of climate change and disease on these attractive and highly beneficial insects. Bumblebees provide vital pollination services to growers, gardeners and wildplants as well as being a sure sign that spring is on its way. Please come along and learn how to identify the species that are known to live in Calderdale, who knows, once you are trained up, you may discover a species new to the area! The training will be provided by an expert from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Places are limited, so booking is essential.
The session will be held on the 7th May at 9.45 for 10am start, lunch will be at 12.30 where you will need to provide your own lunch. After Lunch there’ll be a walk around the park to put your new skills to the test.
This will be the end of the training session but if any ones interested they can join the 2pm Bee walk to Stanally stones, part of the Action for Bees in Calderdale project.

Please contact to book the bee ID training session
2014-04-28T09:29:00+01:00April 28th, 2014|0 Comments


I was reading a book a couple of days ago about Robert Marsham of Stratton Strawless in Norfolk. He was a landowner/naturalist of the 18th century and a correspondent with Gilbert White.
Robert Marsham is the only person to have ever recorded the Wallcreeper bird in Norfolk.
I had never even heard of a Wallcreeper and so I was amazed at the co-incidence of seeing the bird on the BBC2 “France, The Wild Side” last night.
I don’t suppose our local birders have ever seen this bird?

2014-04-26T11:43:00+01:00April 26th, 2014|0 Comments

A Brilliant Newt Night at Cromwell Bottom

The Newt Count Night last night run by Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group was well attended by about 20 people. It began with a treat organised by Robin Dalton of the Countryside Service. He invited Chris Tindal to attend who introduced Great Crested Newts into his parents pond many years ago. He now has a licence to handle them and use them for educational purposes, (he is a lecturer in Natural Sciences,) so he brought some males and a females in an aquarium for us to see.
Apologies for the poor pictures. The light levels were low, and the tank reflected the flash when I tried to use that.

Creat Crested Newts are not known to occur naturally in Calderdale. They are fully protected and you now need a licence to catch them and also to move them.

The search of the ponds on Tag Loop and the old wheel-wash for trucks on North Loop was also very successful, with hundreds of Palmate and Smooth Newts, males and females, found by the light of our torches.

We also saw at least two toads.

The two above are the male Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus. His flamboyant spring crest is less noticeable out of water.
The three below are a female Great Crested Newt. Clicking on the pictures enlarges them, when the warty skin should be visible. An alternative name for this species  is Warty Newt..

In the aquarium, pictured from underneath, the size of the  Great Crested Newt, with boldly marked belly, contrasts with the size of  and the faintly marked bellies of the Palmate Newts Triturus helveticus.

In this picture (above) you can see the boldly marked bellies of the Great Crested Newt; the smaller one with a boldly marked belly is a male Smooth Newt Triturus vulgaris, which is about the same size as the Palmate Newts, with less well marked bellies. 
Many thanks to Chris Tindal for taking the trouble to catch and bring males and females of all three species of  British newts, and apologies again for not being able to get better pictures. The FSC (Field Studies Council) sheet on Reptile and Amphibian identification is very good. (£2.75)
2014-04-24T22:25:00+01:00April 24th, 2014|0 Comments

Walk This Saturday 26th April


Bluebells seen today (24/4/2014) Park Wood

Apr 26th   There will be a short walk in Park Wood, one of the finest bluebell woods in the north of England.

The meeting place is the bottom of Plains Lane, Elland, which is between Elland Bridge and the Crematorium.

The time is 10.30 for a 10.45 start. No need to bring a packed lunch.

The route will be circular and parts of it are wet and muddy. Thanks for the update Steve.

2014-04-24T21:06:00+01:00April 24th, 2014|0 Comments
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