THE Friends of Ilkley Moor have been providing opportunities for the local community to learn about and help conserve the heritage of Ilkley Moor throughout June.

On Saturday, June 10 a guided walk to discover the birds of Ilkley Moor took place.

Ilkley Moor forms part of the South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) designated under the European Union Bird’s Directive for its internationally important breeding birds and this event was developed to enthuse the local community to help collect records for bird species on the moor.

The walk was for two hours and took in a small area of the lower slopes. Skylark, meadow pipit, blackcap, blue tit, great tit, willow warbler, crow, wren, blackbird and chiffchaff were all recorded.

Ilkley Gazette: The archaeology walk on Ilkley MoorThe archaeology walk on Ilkley Moor (Image: FOIM)

An archaeology walk for people to discover the rich archaeology of the moor took place on Sunday, June 11, led by Gavin Edwards. This walk started from the Cow and Calf car park with an uphill climb to the Green Crag Slack area where there is a large concentration of archaeological features. People discovered the enclosure, boundary features and many cup and ring marked rocks.

On Sunday, June 18 there was an event to learn about the plants, trees, mosses and lichens found on the moor.

Ilkley Gazette: The plant walk participants The plant walk participants (Image: FOIM)

The group walked along the lower slopes of the moor, up to the upper tarn, down to the lower tarn and then across to a wetland area to be shown the plants characteristic of dry heaths, marshland and open water bodies. Plants discovered in the dry heath were heather, cross leaved heather, bilberry, bracken, lemon scented fern, lichens, gorse, rowan, hazel, oak, ash, and birch trees and the grasses of Yorkshire fog, crested dogs tail, cocksfoot, sweet vernal grass and meadow grass. Also seen were yarrow, nettle, dock, birds foot trefoil and tormentil. In the marsh area the group were shown flowering rush and compact rush, bog asphodel, cranberry, bog cotton, sphagnum moss, meadowsweet, sedges and sundew (the UK's native carnivorous plant). In the upper tarn the group discovered water horsetail, marsh violet, marsh pennywort and willow trees.

As well as admiring the plants the group also learned about the ecology, conservation and management of these habitats.

Also during June the FoIM’s regular volunteers have been out each week undertaking habitat management for the benefit of wildlife conservation and helping to restore and maintain footpath networks.

The events programme and heritage walks can be downloaded from or for further information contact Tracy Gray FOIM Project Officer on 07780535860.