Monday, 23 October 2017

Busman's holiday!

Sagina nodosa near
Kirky Malham
Image: J. Shanklin 
What does Jon Shanklin, the Field Meetings Secretary do for a holiday? He goes recording of course! 

Jon emailed recently to let me know what he'd been up to on holiday. He said "Mid-west Yorkshire (VC64) is one of many counties needing additional recording for Atlas 2020, so a week in the Yorkshire Dales was a simple choice. 

"I stayed in Long Preston, not far from Malham Tarn. Whilst the Tarn is well recorded, many tetrads to the west were not, so I was trying to increase the coverage.  

"My first day out included a lovely marsh, with Grass-of-Parnassus Parnassia palustris as a highlight. On Sunday I visited Kirkby Malham, helping to ring the bells in the church, before starting recording in a round walk. 

"I kept out of Malham itself, and judging by the number of cars in the car park this was a good idea, as continuing to the west I only met a couple of people! 

Rosette of Thlaspi caerulescens
& Saxifraga hypnoides in bloom
Image: J. Shanklin
"A highlight here was Alpine pennycress Thalspi caerulescens on old mine workings, along with much Mossy Saxifrage Saxifraga hypnoides. I also recorded Knotted Pearlwort Sagina nodosa. 

"The morning was wet, at times very wet, but starting with light drizzle. The rain was no problem thanks to waterproof recording cards, and my cape kept the water out, but my wellies didn't! I kept on regardless. 

"Coming up to a bridge over a small beck, I noticed the bed was dry, so assumed there was limestone around somewhere, but perhaps subterranean. 

"Having had a quick look at the downstream side I returned to the bridge and was amazed to see a small wave of water rushing downhill. Soon the beck was flowing merrily - downstream the River Ribble rose by nearly a metre during the day according to a local fisherman. The forecast is for drier weather tomorrow, and the target is some tetrads south of Malham".

So, not even leaking wellies and a wave of water rushing towards him can stop Jon Shanklin from going out recording for Atlas 2020! There's dedication for you ;-)