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Families enjoy Friends of Ilkley Moor first weekend events

A fun, informative and practical weekend of events, organised by the Friends of Ilkley Moor, took place on Ilkley Moor on the 13th, 14th and 15th April.


The first event was the Cow and Calf heritage walk, where people discovered the famous cow and calf rocks, the geology of the quarry, streams, a small gorge, a cup and ring stone and Rocky Valley.


Two events for young people took place (one suitable for wheel chairs and push chairs) where they discovered the different habitats of the streams and tarns, and the animals, insects and plants which live there. Animal tracking and pond dipping were part of this event. Wetland plants within and around the tarns were identified and recorded; as well as amphibians and invertebrates found in the tarn.  People also learnt how to survey for mammals using tracks and signs.


The group walked along the lower slopes of the moor, and then across to a wetland area and then climbed up to the stream and upper tarn close to White Wells Spa cottage, to be shown the plants and animals characteristic of the tarns and streams and surrounding habitat.


Plants discovered were heather, cross leaved heather, bilberry, cowberry, lichens, gorse, rowan, hazel, oak, goat willow, ash, and birch trees; water horsetail, yellow iris, soft rush and the grasses of yorkshire fog, crested dogs tail, cocksfoot, sweet vernal grass and meadow grass.  Species recorded from the tarn were, water snails, frog spawn and sticklebacks.


As well as exploring the upper tarn, the lower tarn and the streamsone of the groups were shown the natural spring behind White Wells cottage, the famous plunge pool and learnt about the history of Ilkley Moor as a spa town.


As part of the event the young people learnt about the importance of wildflowers for the conservation of bees and butterflies; they potted native wildflower seeds in pots to take home, helping in the conservation of our native wildflowers, bees and butterflies.


The very popular and fun Nordic Fitness Walk led by Sabine Flugel also took place. Nordic Walking is a total body version of walking. It is a specific fitness technique which uses two poles in order to add two major benefits to walking: the use of poles means the upper body muscles are used as well as the legs and also the poles help to propel the walker along – this means he/she works harder than usual yet the support given by the poles makes it feel easier! This can be enjoyed both by non-athletes and by athletes as a sport. Everyone had a great time on the walk.


More practical conservation days in habitat management took place in April, where participants helped manage and conserve the habitats of Ilkley Moor.


 Tracy Gray said, ‘people had lots of fun on these events as well as helping to conserve Ilkley moor and learning about its wildlife’.


Anybody who is interested in the project please contact Tracy Gray, FOIM Project Officer on 07780535860 or

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