Report – Eston Moor – Sat 13 July 2019 – Leaders Jill Cunningham and Fleur Miles
The weather was largely sunny, breezy and it had been raining in the early hours.
We parked up in the Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park carpark. We walked across Flatts Lane to the University NHS Health Clinic. The walk starts at the back of the Clinic. 2 Leaders and 2 Members set off walking at 11:20am.
A large Yellow Underwing moth flew up from the huge bramble patch where we found a Peacock Butterfly Caterpillar (see photo). In some trees further along we found a Cream Spot ladybird.
Just before we started to walk up the steep hill, we came across nine Creeping Corydalis plants (see photo).
Opposite a big English Oak Tree at the start of the steep climb, we saw a Small Skipper Butterfly on Wood Sage. Further up, we found Powdery Orange Rust on Goats Willow, and discovered a Downy Birch Tree. Bilberry plants began to appear which indicated acidic soil. We then came across Heath Groundsel and our first fungus, The Blusher.
After lunch, at the top of the steep climb, a Kestrel flew up and we saw Heath Bedstraw and a spider guarding a net which contained 2 egg sacks and spiderlings. Ochre Brittlegill and Tawny Grisette fungi appeared in the next woodland. At the Pond, the Marsh Cinquefoil (see photo) had, unfortunately, gone over but we did see Horse Leech, Dragonflies with powder blue tails and Crickets. Meadow Brown and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were seen feeding on Creeping Thistle nearby. Golden Rod grew here too.
Further on, Magpie and Yellow Hammer were heard in the next woodland.
We were pleased to see on the burnt moorland that birch trees were beginning to recover by sprouting new growth at their bases. Bilberry was also growing back in that area too.
As we headed in the direction of the radio masts, we took a wide path on the left to walk towards the summit which we reached at 2.20pm. A long time ago, Eston Nab was a special place. It is the site of Bronze Age burial mounds and an Iron Age Hillfort as evidenced by the ditches which you can still see today. A 1956 monument marks the site of a beacon tower used as a look-out post against invasion during the Napoleonic wars and again in WWII. To the north you can see the Transporter Bridge and Hartlepool Headland (see photo) and to the south you can see Roseberry Topping.
We began the descent at 3:00pm. On the heather topped summit, we found Common Cats Ear Gall and Good King Henry. In a woodland halfway down, we found Brown Rollrim Fungus. We heard a thrush near the big old English Oak tree at the bottom of the steep walk down. Enchanters Nightshade was one of the last flowers we found before the walk ended at 4:00pm
We found 170 plant species, 10 Fungi, 19 Insects, 19 Insect Galls, 9 Insect Miners, 8 Birds and 1 horse leech.