Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Chapel woods

The woods to the east of Morpeth continue to flank the Wansbeck for over four miles to Sheepwash. The most interesting stretch is between Morpeth and Bothal. These are known as the chapel woods. The river bends sharply eastwards here and the valley sides are very steep. It is a tranquil place. Much of the exposed sandstone has tumbled into the river giving it a rocky bed, it is a good place to see Dippers and Goosanders. This is one of the few places where Lily of the valley grows as a native plant but I couldn't see any today but I did see Solomon's seal which does grow as a native here. I also found a garden escape called Fringecups which is an attractive plant that didn't look out of place beside the river. The other pictures above include Wood sedge and on the way home I came across Dryad's saddle growing on dead logs; time to get your pen knife out ipin as this is apparently tasty fungi!

I was reading an article in British wildlife magazine a couple of years ago that the river Wansbeck is the most important breeding grounds for the White-footed crayfish in the whole of Europe. The crayfish is a relative of the Lobster, they are common here and easy to see.


st said...

i love that stretch of river,i grew up, on ,in and around it.

Mary said...

The crayfish picture surprised me...ours are not that easy to see...usually down holes. Ever eat them? Down in New Orleans they are very popular, but I've resisted.

abbey meadows said...

Never eaten them, I leave that to the Otters. Although they are common here they are scarce elsewhere and because of this they are a protected species.