The Beach House

Portobello, ‘Edinburgh’s Seaside’, looks rather dour and solid as you drive through on the Musselburgh Road, but walk along the two mile promenade and there are views across the Firth of Forth and along the East Lothian coast. In my watercolour the conical hill just left of centre is North Berwick Law with Traprain Law inland on the far right. I drew this […]

From Sketchbook to Finished Article

I write my Wild Yorkshire nature diary for the Dalesman magazine five or six weeks ahead of publication so in the past week I’ve turned my attention to the October article, which really makes me feel as if summer is coming to a close! Usually I have plenty of material to sift through but last October we’d only just […]

Ashfields and Half Moon

The Ashfields, between Heath village and the River Calder (OS ref. SE 353 206), were settlement lagoons for the pulverised fuel ash from Wakefield power station which was decommissioned in 1991. In the past thirty or forty years the process of natural succession has transformed them from silty open ground to orchid meadow and then from scrub to […]

Mam Tor

Mam Tor from the Castle Inn, 1.30 p.m., 20°C, 69°F: You can see how Mam Tor got it’s name; it sits there like a mother hen looking down over the Hope Valley. The line running along the righthand side of the summit plateau is the line of the ramparts and the silted up ditch of an Iron Age […]