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Walkers discover the plants and trees of Ilkley Moor

At the Friends Of Ilkley Moor event on Sunday, walkers learnt about the plants, trees, mosses and lichens that are found on the moor.

The group walked along the lower slopes of the moor, up to the upper tarn, down to the lower tarn and then across to a wetland area to be shown the plants characteristic of dry heaths, marshland and open water bodies. Plants discovered in the dry heath were heather, cross leaved heather, bilberry, bracken, lemon scented fern, lichens, gorse, rowan, hazel, oak, ash, and birch trees and the grasses of Yorkshire fog, crested dogs tail, cocksfoot, sweet vernal grass and meadow grass. Also seen were yarrow, nettle, dock, birds foot trefoil and tormentil. In the marsh area the group were shown flowering rush and compact rush, bog asphodel, cranberry, bog cotton, sphagnum moss, meadowsweet, sedges and sundew (the UKs native caniverous plant!). In the upper tarn the group discovered water horsetail, marsh violet, marsh pennywort and willow trees. It was a sunny day, and the dragon flies were out too, adding flights of colour across the water.

As well as admiring the plants the group also learnt about the ecology, conservation and management of these habitats.

The FoIM’s regular volunteers have been out each week this month undertaking habitat management on Ilkley Moor for the benefit of wildlife conservation and helping to restore and maintain footpath networks.

Everyone had a great time on the event and volunteer workdays and look forward to attending more events from this year’s events and learning programme.

The friends next event is the Stanza Stones Walk on July 2 between 2pm - 4pm. Learn about the Stanza Stones; a poetry trail constructed in with the help of Ilkley Literature Festival. Several stones, which include engraved poems by Simon Armitage are on Ilkley Moor. A circular walk of 4 miles starting and finishing at the Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley, walking up to the Beck Stone and then up and across the Rocky Valley to the upper slopes of the moor via the Poets Seat. Tea and scones will be available, for a charge, in the Craiglands bar at the end of the walk.

The events programme and heritage walks can be downloaded from the FOIM

For further information contact Tracy Gray FOIM Project Officer on 07780535860 or


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