Yesterday Sally spent the day up the North Tyne area working on farm surveys. It was a beautiful day and there were many lichens to distract me from the main job in hand, habitat mapping. Today I have spent an hour with Janet Simkin (British Lichen Society Vice President) learning to identify the less common lichens I found.
As always there were interesting lumps and bumps in the ground to ponder over, many are probably old coal pits and associated workings, something that can be found scattered throughout the region.
The main feature of interest was the remains of Tarset Castle, which is being eroded by the river Tarset. This is thought to have been an imposing structure overlooking the North Tyne Valley but the building has long gone. The old border counties railway cut through the edge of the castle; an old linesman’s hut remains but, sadly, is not long for this world.