Author Topic: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct  (Read 2366 times)

Offline Judi Durber

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Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« on: May 28, 2021, 12:13:28 pm »
The woodland Trust are asking for donations to buy 550 acres at Snaizeholme "and create vibrant new native woodland for wildlife and people."

What do the locals think of this? 

Is covering the moors with trees again a good or bad thing for the caving environment?

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/support-us/give/appeals/snaizeholme/

https://www.streetmap.co.uk/map?x=383500&y=486500&z=120&sv=Snaizeholme&st=3&tl=Map+of+Snaizeholme,+North+Yorkshire&searchp=ids&mapp=map
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Offline Tomferry

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2021, 12:35:53 pm »
3,5 million is a big target ! Is their any mines in the  proposed “woodland” anyone  is aware of wondering if their is would we be able to gain access agreements ?  Sorry not familiar with the area but I am a large tree / nature lover

Offline Fishes

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2021, 12:49:48 pm »
I'm not a local but think this is a great idea.

I don't see any downsides for the caves, and it could help reduce flash flooding. Its just turning the moors back to what they used to be before the trees were chopped down and they were grazed by sheep.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 12:50:21 pm »
I'm not sure there is much in the way of caves in this area.  However, it is famous for its red squirrels.  Forestry has logged a fair bit around here in recent years so it could be some of this land.  Plant away I say.

Offline PeteA

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 01:47:15 pm »
On a point, Snaizeholme is a long way north and indeed is in Wddale much nearer to Hawes than the Ribblehead viaduct.

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 01:54:31 pm »
In principle, it seems like a reasonable idea.

However, how much 'managing' they need to do to return it to it's 'natural' state will be interesting. And whether they are able to leave it alone when it gets there, or whether they will have to perpetually fiddle around with it, thus rendering it just as man made as what we have now remains to be seen.

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Offline AR

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 08:41:58 pm »
Heather moorland, if left unburnt and ungrazed, from my experience starts to see birches and scotch pines reappearing of their own accord within 10-20 years, oak and other slower-growing broadleaves will probably start to appear over time but I have no idea how long it would take to establish a relatively stable ecosystem that perpetuates without human interference. Thing is, you have to be prepared to leave these places to their own devices for much more than a human lifetime...
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Offline grahams

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2021, 09:17:51 am »
Mixed woodland at Low Green Field, Langstrothdale. This location is 9km south of Snaizeholme and at about the same elevation - 370m.
Over on the moors of Mallerstang, many acres of broad leaf woodland has been planted and large tracts of land have been fenced off, possibly for further planting. Expect big changes in the Dales over the coming years.
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Offline Jim MacPherson

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2021, 10:07:40 am »
I wonder if it's this parcel they are aiming to buy, roughly right place and size.  If so note the guide price, so some £3m for the reserve development costs.  I can't see another parcel up for sale although the piccy on the Woodland Trust blurb looks up to the head of the dale and they imply there is no/limited tree cover which isn't entirely correct. However the advertised land is adjacent to the existing (ancient?) mixed woodland where the red squirrel trial is, so would make sense.

https://www.robinjessop.co.uk/properties/550-acres-of-land-at-hawes


Regardless most of the value of upland land (hence market price) is via the CAP subsidies attached which will be gone soon enough and largely replaced by the current ELMS proposals which are less closely linked to acreage and agricultural production (or hectarage to be a bit more metrically correct).

Jim

Offline Andy Walsh

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2021, 09:13:43 pm »
Area fenced off in Easegill seems to have an effect as going down to Link Pot a few Rowen Trees have appeared on the south side of the hill that do not seem to have been'' planted'' some 2m high and look well
Incidentally a wood is doing well after 100 years to be a settled impressive mixed woodland large Oak etc +it looks after itself
However in 5- 10 years things look good as per the trees by the A65 near Ingleton

Online 2xw

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2021, 09:08:54 am »
Planting trees on a lot of our moorland when it should be blanket bog (for example, the top of Ingleborough or Leck fell) would result in a somewhat cataclysmic carbon release to the environment, because trees lower the water table, increasing the aerobic layer and increasing decomposition. It would also result in a massive decline of drinking water quality (entailing an investment of £30-50m per treatment plant) for people in the Dales. Much better to restore blanket bog!

Happily tho the WT seem to have learnt from their recent mistakes - the Snaizeholme planting appears to be on lowland (ish) ex grazing grassland

Offline grahams

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2021, 11:32:05 am »
That's a huge development proposal covering over 2 square km. There are already two conifer plantations on the site (assuming they haven't been harvested). It appears that the whole of the eastern slopes of Ten End would be planted. The upper slopes consist of peat bog which is crossed by the superb bridleway which leads onto Cam High Road West.
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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2021, 12:42:55 pm »
... should be blanket bog...

Why should it be a blanket bog?

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 06:44:28 pm »
... should be blanket bog...

Why should it be a blanket bog?

Chris.

Cos it was, and now it's degraded, which means it's currently releasing massive amounts of carbon and precursor chemicals that form carcinogens in our drinking water (increasing the cost of treating it)

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2021, 06:50:45 pm »
Strictly it "should" be the natural climax community for the area. If it's fenced off, so it's un-grazed, that will eventually be the result.

Offline Jim MacPherson

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2021, 06:53:44 pm »
Does anybody know whether the "holme" bit is from Norse as that would suggest a dry bit among otherwise rather soggy ground, Snaize presumably being the occupier of the land?

Jim

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2021, 09:09:11 pm »
... should be blanket bog...

Why should it be a blanket bog?

Chris.

Cos it was, and now it's degraded, which means it's currently releasing massive amounts of carbon and precursor chemicals that form carcinogens in our drinking water (increasing the cost of treating it)

I am interested in why you say that. Do you have any actual justification? Which time period are we rewinding the clock to?

As far as I know, post ice age, it became deciduous forest. Then neolithic man cleared all of the natural forest in England*, including the high ground in Yorkshire. It became blanket bog as a direct result of mans influence.

I am interested in evidence to the contrary.

Chris.

*Which does make this idea of 'ancient woodland' a load of old testicles.
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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2021, 10:03:43 pm »
Quote
I am interested in why you say that. Do you have any actual justification?

Yes, there's a great body of research on UK upland blanket bogs and their carbon stores - here's a reasonable explanation for laymen https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/geography/research/peatlands-the-carbon-cycle-and-climatic-change/
There's more info on the state of UK peatlands in the IUCNs report here:
https://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/COI%20State_of_UK_Peatlands.pdf

Quote
Which time period are we rewinding the clock to?

It depends on the specific location. Realistically they were probably at their best pre-medieval times but the real degradation of UK upland peats can probably be attributed to post-WWII land grants that encouraged draining with the misconceived aim of increasing available agricultural land. A driver of degradation in Scotland was reasonably large forestry operations that functioned as a tax avoidance scheme - you can blame Terry Wogan and Cliff Richard for that - it's now being fixed at enormous cost.

Quote
As far as I know, post ice age, it became a deciduous forest.

This is "Sherwood Syndrome" and it's a bit of a fantasy in my opinion. Paleo and pollen data aren't reliable IMO - no doubt there were plenty more trees than there are now, but I have many doubts that the uplands were forested over in a closed canopy. For one, a lot of mires were created in the North of England (above the line of the LGM) probably due to the deposition of impermeable boulder clays (Fenns Whixall and Bettisfield mosses, as well as Manchester's Moss Side, are examples of this - when I last cored there we didn't find any evidence of trees - it just went down about 6 meters to ancient undecomposed Juncus and other reeds/sedges, etc.). Secondly, when we core on upland moors on my sites we would expect to be prevented from doing so if they were covered in buried ancient tree stumps - but we don't. You can see moors that were ancient forests like the one to the west of Wigtwizzle nr Sheffield, but my sites in the Forest of Bowland, Mossdale, Nidderdale, and Moorhouse the poles just slide in until they hit bedrock. It's possible these places were forested by a sort of scrubby birch woodland (similar to the body woods you can see at Malham) but I wouldn't believe there were oaks up there. More here: https://research.birmingham.ac.uk/portal/files/8226165/Whitehouse_and_Smith_QSR_2010.pdf

Quote
Then neolithic man cleared all of the natural forests in England*, including the high ground in Yorkshire. It became blanket bog as a direct result of man's influence.

This might be the case but it's hard to believe for me. Some will point out that all of our mountains are lower than the European tree line but then we live in an oceanic and not continental climate. Certainly, grazing, quarrying, mining, peat cutting (which was way more widespread than previously thought pre-coal - see anywhere called "turbary"!) all have had a massive influence but did they clear fell such vast swathes of land (including the stumps?) - the entire UK population then was roughly similar to the current population of Derby. It's much more believable to me that patchy forests were felled and open spaces readily used for pasture.

But this might be beside the point: none of it has been "wild" or "natural" since humans arrived, and at any rate, what does "wild" or "natural" mean and why is it valuable? There's a good essay on this from William Cronon: https://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html

Whatever way blanket bog arrived, it is enormously effective at sucking carbon out of the atmosphere, but we have destroyed a lot of it in the past century and for our own sakes we should put it back (a lot of it wouldn't become natural if we abandoned it anyways, see Kinder and Bleaklow in the Peak) by drain/gulley blocking and grazing + burning cessation.

Quote
*Which does make this idea of 'ancient woodland' a load of old testicles.

The definition of ancient woodland is that it has persisted since 1600 in England and 1750 in Scotland (which is somewhat arbitrary like "deep peat"). Make of that what you will!


Hope you enjoyed my opinionated rant!

Offline kay

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2021, 08:43:28 am »

*Which does make this idea of 'ancient woodland' a load of old testicles.

“Ancient woodland” has nothing to do with Neolithic times. It means an area that has been woodland continuously since before a date a few hundred years ago. Ancient woodlands have built up a specialist animal and plant community which will be destroyed if the woodland is. Which is why “offsetting” should only be a last resort - a plantation of new trees is never a like for like replacement for ancient woodland.

On the other hand planting new trees, or excluding deer and sheep, in my opinion seems a sensible option for those areas that still have such typical woodland plants as wood anemone and bluebell.

Offline andys

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2021, 03:35:48 pm »
Driving up over Kingsdale Head towards Dent yeaterday, it look like a large area has been planted with trees since the last time I was there too. It does look to be "patchy" planting, though - so presumably being made to look "natural" by design?
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Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2021, 02:48:51 pm »

This is on the advertising leaflet but does not appear to be on the web.

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Online 2xw

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2021, 02:57:10 pm »

This is on the advertising leaflet but does not appear to be on the web.



This looks good if they plant trees up the cloughs. It'll keep any peat from sloughing off the edge of the fell above and benefit them too

Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2021, 04:54:53 pm »

Hope you enjoyed my opinionated rant!

I did! I just regret I won't have time to read all of your references in the detail that they deserve. But you make your point very well which I like.

I think we are agreed that whatever way you look at it, this project is to replace one artificial landscape with another.

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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2021, 04:58:03 pm »
“Ancient woodland” has nothing to do with Neolithic times. It means an area that has been woodland continuously since before a date a few hundred years ago.

Unfortunately, most lay-people think that ancient woodland has been in existence since the ice age. It is the wrong word, and very misleading. It is only when you investigate that you find such oxymorons as The New Forest being Ancient Woodland!

And it is emotively used to great effect by such political organisations as The Woodland Trust, which I think is very sad and turns me away from them.

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Offline alanw

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Re: Snaizeholme - north of Ribblehead Viaduct
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2021, 07:05:25 pm »
Another misconception is that "Ancient Woodland" is untouched by humans. I've spent many hours, as a leader of a Cambridge BTCV working party in Hayley Wood[1], wielding a bowsaw or billhook. Some of them were in the company of Oliver Rackham[2]. Coppicing the hazel on a 17 year cycle continued a centuries old tradition and maintained an environment for much rare flora and fauna. On one visit at dawn in spring, we heard a nightingale singing in the hazel we'd coppiced a few years earlier.

I'm now sad that despite a thorough search, my copy of Dr. Rackham's book "Ancient Woodland" seems to have gone missing in a house move.

[1] https://www.wildlifebcn.org/nature-reserves/hayley-wood
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Rackham

 

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