Ackworth School

A QUAKER SCHOOL since 1779, the main buildings of Ackworth date from 1757 and were originally built as a Foundling Hospital, taking in homeless children from London. Two decades later the Society of Friends bought the then empty Hospital and 84 acres of land surrounding it for £7000.

We’re here on a Wakefield Naturalists’ summer field meeting to explore the grounds, which originally included 5 acres of garden and orchard in addition to the the 1¼ acre quadrangle.

Gold Spot

Francis Higginbottom, science teacher at Ackworth School, our guide this morning has left a moth trap on overnight. Perhaps because of the recent unsettled weather there are only half a dozen moths in it, including this Gold SpotPlusia festucae. This moth is found in damp habitats, such as water meadows and riverbanks. The trap was set up a hundred yards or so from the River Went. Those gold spots have a metallic sheen to them.

Bird Life

A pair of Sparrowhawks is nesting in a sycamore by the cricket pitch and Long-tailed Tit had built, and now abandoned, having reared a brood, this nest, which incorporates spiders’ webs and lichen.

Nearby on the ground there’s turquoise blue Starling’s egg.

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