Witch’s Butter

THIS YELLOW fungus was growing on a log at the edge of the path through a conifer plantation at Newmillerdam. I’m not sure whether the log was hardwood or softwood. It’s the first species that I’ve tried to identify from the Collins Fungi Guide, by Stefan Buczacki and going by his description and the illustration by Denys […]


IT HASN’T BEEN haymaking weather today, with a month’s rain falling in 24 hours in some places; these men were photographed making hay while the sun shone in Coxley Valley during one of the long remembered glorious summers of the Edwardian that preceded World War I. It wasn’t just nostalgia for the days before the horrors of the […]

Waterton’s Watchtower

I’D ALWAYS assumed that the stone watchtowers that Charles Waterton(1793-1865) built around Walton Park were primarily birdwatching hides where Waterton, accustomed to life in the tropics, could take shelter on walks around his nature reserve but when I read an account of a visitor to the Park in 1835, I realised that these were intended as […]

Waterton’s Wall

CHARLES WATERTON completed his wall around Walton Park in 1821. It had taken five years to build and cost £9,000. Refusing to go into debt to complete it, Waterton, who as a teetotal Yorkshire squire was something of a rarity, quipped that he’d paid for it with the money he hadn’t spent on claret. It seems a […]