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Last weekend Sophie and I  managed a day out at Castle Eden Dene, it stayed dry and it wasn’t too cold which was enough for us to get out and about.  Spring hadn’t quite arrived, but some flowers were popping up, and there were plenty of mosses and lichens for my new lens to have a look at.

The Dene itself is the largest, and biologically the richest, of a series of deep ravines that have been incised by streams flowing into the North Sea through the Magnesian Limestone and overlying boulder clay of coastal Durham. It is the largest area of semi-natural woodland in north-east England and, because the steep valley sides are mostly inaccessible, it has suffered relatively little from human interference. Over 450 species of plants have been recorded in the wood, many of which are typical of ancient woodlands that date back to pre-medieval times.

It didn’t really look very inviting as we set off along the path

but I put my new macro lens to good use, discovering the little things you don’t normally see when just walking on by

loving lichen

Catkins are a sure sign Spring is on the way..

Hazel Tree catkins

Goat Willow catkins have separate male and female trees. Male catkins are clad in golden stamens; female catkins are spiky and green. Both secrete nectar – key energy for bees and butterflies in early spring.

Goat willow – Salix caprea

We walked up a main pathway to start with, and to the right of us people’s gardens were on the opposite side of a big fence, but bits and bobs poked through it here and there..


variegated ivy

a plant 🙂

we turned off the main path onto a track that led through the woodlands and found our way to Gunners Pool bridge. The bridge is one of sixteen that cross the Castle Eden Burn. It was fabricated in Hartlepool in the late 19th century for the Rev. John Burdon, whose family owned Castle Eden Dene, and is thought to have been erected in June 1877.

Gunners Pool Bridge

Looking down from the bridge

It was quite vertiginious and I was glad to get to the other side

the far side of the bridge

More to come so stay tooned!




36 comments on “Fraggle Report- Castle Eden Dene- April 2018- Part 1

  1. Oh my gosh Fraggle. These are just gorgeous! I can’t even pick a favorite.🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 thanks Kim, I’m chuffed that you like them x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woah… that looks like a long drop from the bridge, Fraggle. Yes, you used your new lens to very good use! Lovely shots. I got a kick out of “pinkalicious.” Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Teagan 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. beetleypete says:

    Great use of the macro, FR. Is that bridge really that bad though? Or are you just worried about heights? 🙂 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The bridge is 100ft above the Burn (stream) you can see in the next shot, I don’t mind heights…until I look down. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. ortensia says:

    The ivy and the plant out of the wood are really two paints❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sue says:

    Love the lichen and catkins, Fraggle!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. M.B. Henry says:

    Such beautiful photos. A great reminder to find beauty in the little things 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 😊 glad you enjoyed them.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am such a weird fan of lichen… It’s so strangely pretty!! It’s nice to see the starts of spring out your way! We just got hit by a huge ice storm (IN MID APRIL!! COME ON!!) So, it’s nice to see someone getting out and seeing some spring!! 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nicole. Much excitement here as temperatures are going up at the end of the week apparently. I’ll be moaning then it’s too hot! 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha!! Meanwhile, I am now looking out the window at snow here…..

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You have my sympathy!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Macro shots. You have a nice lense for it. Is it detatchable? My macro isn’t so hot…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is detachable Cindy, I just got it a couple of weeks ago. It’s very nice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad to be able to go on another journey with you and Sophie!😀❤📸 I just love these photos, Fraggle!😍 Just AMAZING!❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really love the flower that looks pinkalicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, wish I was better at identifying these things 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  11. “A plant” – that cracked me up because that would describe my knowledge of at least half of the plant shots I take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do google but can’t always find what I shot!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. joshi daniel says:

    So beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. vinnieh says:

    Looking from the bridge gets my vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jay says:

    wow, these are so wonderful i can hardly stand to see what’s on the other side!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your enthusiasm.


  15. steviegill says:

    Lovely stuff. Looks likes the new lens is delivering the goods. One day I’ll buy a proper macro lens!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really missed my Nikon one when I changed over to fuji, really happy they’ve put this one out.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Jessica says:

    Wow! Sounds like a really cool all-natural place! Lovely photos. I especially liked pinkalicious. As usual, would love to see all this in person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t beat ancient woodlands!

      Liked by 1 person

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