Friday, 10 March 2017

Introduction to NZ2459

I thought that with the reincarnation of this Blog  that I should introduce the square of NZ2459 (and as an excuse to show some pictures of habitat). The majority of the square is Waldridge Fell, at least the southern and eastern part. For you out there who don’t know the area, Durham County Council says “Waldridge Fell is an extensive area of lowland heath (moorland less than 300m above sea level), and contains contains heather,bilberry and moorland grasses.These look stunning in late summer and autumn when the purple heather is in flower. Lowland heath is globally rare and makes it especially important to manage it carefully.Waldridge Fell has had many uses over the years; grazing, part of the Prince Bishops' hunting chase and even a military training ground during the Napoleonic Wars. Extensive coal mining took place from the early 1800's until 1963. Waldridge colliery and village community thrived here. The present car parks are named after the rows of houses that once stood here. "

It may also be the largest dog toilet inn the north-east! (my words but true).

Spring - Birch and Gorse dominating. [Most of the land in the distance is outside the square]

Summer - Heather  and Bracken dominates
Winter - Snow (on occassion) dominates

The fell has a fair few upland and especially acidic-liking  plants and animals and is an SSSI classed as dwarf shrub heathand, Included in the square is Wanister Bog which  is  an area of seasonally-flooded land and  is the only valley-mire in lowland County Durham. 

Wanister Bog

As well as the Fell there is Felledge Wood, an old, very damp alder wood with a bit of oak, birch, wild cherry and holly on either side of the South Burn, that enters the river Wear couple of mile away. Through quite shallow, there are little pools scattered about here and there

Felledge Wood early one morning

Slightly futher downstream to the north, the wood changes to birch and crack willow, this is the area I usually call South Burn Wood, distinguishing it from the wetter adjacent Felledge.

South Burn Wood, the burn is hidden under the bridge
 The northern third is made up of a few arable and rough pasture fields, the one just north of Brass Castle farm (a private dwelling) is the best meadow in the Waldridge area. The extreme NE corner has the start of the Waldridge Park estate where your’s truly lives. It would be daft not to cover a square that has your own house in, especially as it's amazing what is lurking in your own garden.

OK  - thats the Blog started. I'll mention what I've had to date  tomorrow and then we are off with whatever I can find the rest of the year


  1. Welcome back! I'm looking forward to your findings....

  2. Cheers Stew,
    retired now so more time which was always a problem.