It was far from the ideal day, or time of year, for a spot of habitat surveying but deadlines can be unforgiving of such niceties. Duncan, and a colleague, spent a wet and breezy day around Bakethin Reservoir in Northumberland. Bakethin is basically the upper reaches of Kielder Reservoir, though is technically separate from it.
Few plants were in any way impressive today, most were green at best and dead stems more often. The lichens were, once again, the stars of the show with some of the broadleaved trees festooned with an array of healthy, damp, hanging specimens. The old walls, relics of fields from pre-reservoir days, were also draped in lichens of all shapes and sizes; even the ground was dotted in some species such as Cladonias and Peltigeras.
One wall end has a small iron cross with ‘Hunters Cross’ inscribed on the stone below, it’s not clear what this relates to, the cross doesn’t look old but the location is well off the beaten track. The areas being surveyed held ghosts of the past; the old Kielder School was just off the shoreline of one of the fields and the old railway line with its intriguing viaduct bounded two more of the survey patches. The old walls and field drains also hinted at a more agricultural past to the present landscape of water and trees.