This Blog covers nature sightings and related news in the Calderdale area.
It includes all groups - Plants, animals and fungi with links to specialist sites.
Anyone wishing to become a member of this Blog and post sightings please contact us.
If you would like to join the Halifax Scientific Society either email me or come along to the next meeting.
All welcome:
Please contact us about any sensitive records before posting on the blog

Thursday, 26 December 2019

A Fragrance of Boxing Day!

The Winter Heliotrope Petasites fragrans.
Long known at King Cross, Halifax, opposite the Fire Station, in the graveyard.
We went to find it today and if we bent down the fragrance was gorgeous.
We agreed it was almonds we could smell.

A few years ago I came across this patch on the top of the wood above the Elland by-pass,
and we found it again this Christmas day, with flowers not yet open.
It must have been a garden escape from the adjacent Halifax Zoo,
reputed to have had beautiful gardens in the early 20th century,
now the pitches of Siddal Rugby Club.

The West Yorkshire Plant Atlas 1994 has only one site for the Calderdale area,
and only six others in West Yorkshire, all around Leeds or east of there.
It is an alien from the Mediterranean region.

The next flower to look out for is the White Butterbur, Petasites albus, a relative of the above.
This we go to find in the Colden Valley from late February - March, a more showy flower, but not scented, and another garden escape, originally from central Europe and the Caucasus.

The first outdoor meeting of the Halifax Scientific Society is on 1st January, meeting 10.30. Anyone who would like to join us is welcome.
Meet in front of Clay House, West Vale, Elland, HX4 8AN for the traditional New Year's Day Bird Count. (We count the number of species seen or heard.)
The walk is about 7 miles, through North Dean Woods (the woods are very muddy just now,) round Norland Moor, back by an alternative path through the woods to West Vale before dark.
A stop for a sociable picnic will be taken somewhere in the woods - bring a waterproof layer to sit on.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Welcome to our new program of talks and walks for 2020.
Click on tabs above for more details.
We hope you will agree that the council have managed to put together a range of diverse natural history topics
with emphasis on local ecology and broader environmental issues.
Overall the program aims to enlighten us all and our guests. 

 We rounded off 2019 with the successful social on the 10th December.
The newly elected chair Mick Harrop made everyone most welcome and presented Christine Eves with a gift on behalf of the council and members for her contribution as treasurer over the last 7 years.
Christine is passing on this role to Michael Brook.
A special thanks goes to Sarah Flood for organising a challenging but entertaining quiz.
Thanks to all who contributed to the food and nibbles for the evening.

 Reminders below of the first events of 2020.

 In February the talk by Alastair Fitter concerns the threat to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s first conservation site by developers near York. We hope that by the time the talk is given the site will have been saved! Please see the Calderdale Wildlife blog for many more details.

 Walk 10:30 to Dusk Wednesday 1st January
New Year’s Day bird count. Meet SB at Clay House, West Vale.
A walk through North Dean Woods and around
Norland Moor. HX4 8AN. Approx. 7 miles.

Walk 10.30 to 14.30 Saturday 11th January
Ten common Woodland Mosses.
Meet PS at Stansfield Mill Lane, Triangle. HX6 3JX. Approx. 4 miles.

Talk Tuesday 14 January
Adrian Horton and Rosie Holdsworth
Slow the Flow in Calderdale.

 Talk Tuesday 11 February
Alastair Fitter
Askham Bog: Yorkshire’s Biodiversity Hotspot.

 Reminder to all please that the annual membership fees are now due!

 Finally we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year and wish you all seasonal greetings and a happy peaceful Christmas.

 Laurence Sutton - Membership secretary - 07880 721330