A day down South

Monckton coke works from Rabbit Ings Country Park (c) Duncan Hutt

Monckton coke works from Rabbit Ings Country Park (c) Duncan Hutt

Pond at Rabbit Ings (c) Duncan Hutt

Pond at Rabbit Ings (c) Duncan Hutt

Everywhere in England is south of Northumberland and South Yorkshire does seem to be a substantial drive in that direction.  The day was a trip to a couple of country parks in the Barnsley area to share ideas and best practice in managing these sort of areas.  Both parks owe their existence to former pit heaps and signs of industry do still remain.  Most striking is the surviving coke works at Monckton near the Rabbit Ings site; this has been in operation for well over 100 years and produces coke for use in glass and steel manufacturing amongst other things.

Lesser reedmace (Typha angustifolia) (c) Duncan Hutt

Lesser reedmace (Typha angustifolia) (c) Duncan Hutt

The coke works has seen coal mining come and go and the pit heap landscaped to the current country park.  This park contains sweeping areas of grassland, woodland areas and a few ponds.  One of these ponds has a partial cover of lesser reedmace (Typha angustifolia), a plant often called bulrush but complicated by the fact that another plant is also given this name.  Lesser reedmace is smaller than its more invasive larger relative, has narrower leaves and, most obviously, the flower spikes are clearly divided into two distinct parts, male above the female.

The other site visited was Phoenix Park, another park created from an old pit heap with a network of wide paths through planted broadleaved woodland.  Butterflies such as small skipper, ringlet and meadow brown were common over the grassland swathes with small tortoiseshell flying faster and purposefully across the site.

Phoenix Park (c) Duncan Hutt

Phoenix Park (c) Duncan Hutt

Advertisements

About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
This entry was posted in Archaeology, Duncan at work, Flowering Plants, Invertebrates and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A day down South

  1. Interesting that we couldn’t clearly see the coke works. Summer has come here and I saw a few butterflies today – too far off to identify, but the joy was there, just the same.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s