EXPERTS AT WORK: Dr Tom Gledhill will lead a number of summer walks to highlight some of the dale’s rare plants
EXPERTS AT WORK: Dr Tom Gledhill will lead a number of summer walks to highlight some of the dale’s rare plants

THE Upper Teesdale Botany Group is organising an extensive summer programme of field work to mark its 20th anniversary.
The group surveys the upper dale to monitor rare plants and flowers, and is supported by botanist Dr Margaret Bradshaw’s Teesdale Special Flora Research and Conservation Group.
The first series of field work, starting on May 9 and running for four weeks, will revisit some of the areas first surveyed by the group in 2004 and will cover the route from Winch Bridge to Scoberry Bridge. For three weeks, starting on June 6, the group will survey the area from Holwick Head Bridge to the national nature reserve (NNR) fence just west of High Force.
On June 27, the botany group will hold a meadow flower evening.
Surveys will continue on July 4 where the vegetation and flora near Birkdale track from the NNR gate towards Cauldron Snout will be investigated.
On July 11, Widdybank Farm meadow will be surveyed, followed by Widdybank Fell on July 18 and July 25.
Membership of the botany group is free and new members are welcome to join.
For more information or to join the group contact Tricia Snaith at tricia.snaith@icloud. com.
Meanwhile, those interested in the rare plants and flowers of upper Teesdale are being invited to join a series of walks this summer.
The Weekly Wildflower Walks will be guided by botanist Dr Margaret Bradshaw. She said: “The walks will be easy to occasionally rough underfoot with possible short steep climbs.”
All of the walks start from Bowlees Visitor Centre and run from 10am to 1.30pm.
The walks start on Thursday, May 19, and will continue each Thursday until June 30.
People are urged to wear suitable walking shoes and waterproof clothing.
Tickets for all six walks is £10 and a maximum of 20 people can join.
In addition, there will be two walks investigating the archaeology and flora in upper Teesdale.
Led by Dr Tom Gledhill, the walks will investigate the post-glacial history and botany of the area.
The walks also start from Bowlees Visitor Centre.
The walk on Friday, May 6, will run from 10am to 2pm and will head towards Holwick. The moderate walk includes an opportunity to stop for a picnic.
The second walk, on Saturday, May 14, runs from 10am to 4pm and head to the Bronze Age settlement site of Braken Rigg.
The walk is classed as difficult and includes stiles, uneven paths and steep climbs.
People should bring a packed lunch and drinks.
The cost is £5 for each walk.
To book a place for any of the walks, contact Naomi Priestley at or ring 01833 200220.