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ASKHAM BOG (Yorkshire Wildlife Trust)


By jbardet


Roughly 100 acres of deciduous woodland and wet grassland, Askham Bog has been owned by the Y.W.T. since 1946 but its history goes back much further.

Once a glacial lake, formed at the end of the last ice age, it eventually became overgrown with vegetation which, in time, rotted down to form a raised peat bog. This, during recent centuries, became excavated for fuel, lowering the level of peat and soil acidity. In this state, its usefulness to man largely exhausted, other than for charcoal production, it became overgrown with trees, mainly birch, alder, willow, oak, rowan, & holly.

Since the Y.W.T. obtained the site (their first nature reserve) in 1946, they have managed it as semi-wooded fenland, to encourage diversity of wildlife.

This has been a success in many ways and there are some species of insect which are claimed to be unique to Askham Bog and some plant species which are not found anywhere else in the north-east of England.

For me, being just a short walk from my door, Askham Bog has provided a very special, local ‘patch’ and has been like a second garden, over the past 37 years.

Greylag Geese

Royal Fern


Exmoor Ponies; grazing out the rough stuff

Bog Myrtle (Myrtica gala)

Coot on pond

Birch (Betula alba)

Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

Resident Kestrel

Gatekeeper Butterfly

Marsh Violet (Viola palustris)

Winter Floods

Darter Dragonfly (Cheeky beggar!)

Green-veined White Butterfly on Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

More Floods

Winter Sunrise

Decking Walkway

April Evening

January Floods-2009

Winter Scenes-2009/10

Roe Deer

Water Violet (Hottonia palustris) May 2010

Water Violet

Viola odorata alba




BUZZARD keeping watch from nearby railway cable-post.










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~ love the wild orchids~there are similar ones growing locally~lovely place to be able to go to!

26 Dec, 2009


this is a lovely blog. not too far from me either.

26 Dec, 2009


That was a great blog thanks

27 Dec, 2009


A lovely blog jbardet and great photos. It reminds me a lot of parts of the Norfolk Broads. It is an astounding success story.

27 Dec, 2009


What a lovely blog Jbardet. A BOG BLOG, you could call it!! And some excellent pictures! Really enjoyed the blog!

27 Dec, 2009


what a lovely place to walk and so pretty jb, thanx for sharing your pics :o))

27 Dec, 2009


Liked the blog and your photos, thanks for showing us.

27 Dec, 2009


Thanks for all your kind comments on the A.B. blog. The place has been a great source of inspiration to me over the years. It used to be fairly hidden away but now, with more signage, better car park and a decking board walk, it is more accessible and more people use it, including many dog-walkers. This can only be a good thing if it brings more people in touch with wildlife.

Off the 'beaten track' however, you can still follow the deer-tracks into the wilder parts and rediscover the old magic.

I hope you have all had a great Christmas, as we did and wish you All the Best for 2010

27 Dec, 2009


And to you Jbardet! Once again, nice blog and look forward to perhaps seeing more of the bog in spring /summer.

27 Dec, 2009


More on the Bog blog. There is a 1979 publication by Alastair Fitter & Clifford Smith, entitled 'A Wood in Ascam' (using the older spelling) which goes into detail of the history and flora & fauna of A.B.

27 Dec, 2009


Lovely blog! I think that you are so right to regard this as your other "garden", too. So much inspiration and happiness to be gleaned from such places. :-))

27 Dec, 2009


Hi David,
My nephew lives at Gullane in the East Lothian (not too far from you, I beleive). Lovely countryside around there. Must be one of Scotland's best kept secrets! Thanks for the comment, Jb

27 Dec, 2009


It must be wonderful to live near such an interesting place. I love to see wild orchids too.

27 Dec, 2009


The orchids at A.B. are mainly spotted (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) and marsh (D. incarnata) with the occasional bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) on the drier outskirts. There may well be others but I have not come across them yet. As you say, Hywell, they are always great to see in the summer.

28 Dec, 2009


Hi Jb, Yes, know Gullane and area very well. You are right, I really like the scenery of East Lothian and farther south into Northumberland. I can actually see across to there from the top of my road, but, because of the firth of Forth dividing us, it is 60 miles by road via the Forth bridge. Great destination for days out, however, with plenty to see and do. :-))

28 Dec, 2009


As lovely in it's way as any garden, how lucky you are to have this on your doorstep. BTW there are several copies of that book available on Amazon.

29 Dec, 2009


As some of the pics. show and as the name suggests, Askham Bog is prone to flooding after prolonged rainfall. The high water-table is a major factor in making this place such a valuable habitat.

In one of the pics, the water can be seen lapping over the board-walk which is normally a foot or so above the ground. (Jan. 2009 floods)

29 Dec, 2009

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