Hell Wath LNR
Owner: Tarmac leased to Harrogate Borough Council
Walkers: Jess Darwin (lead) Jeremy Dunford, Maria Atha, Jan Allon-Smith, Jean Houseman Karyn Gordon, Carol Lea, Jane Horton.
Distance: 2166m Altitude: 40m Time: 45mins
The land is leased by Harrogate Borough Council, from Tarmac. There has been light management since the lease started in 1991 with increased management from 2017 when Friends of Hell Wath was created, initially as a community Voluntary Group and more recently as a charity. HBC is directly involved in the activities but this is now supported by the Skell Valley Project through a Heritage Lottery Grant. This is further increasing the management with work to enhance and improve the grasslands a key part of this. There are two areas of playfields used by a local footbal club and this two fields have experenced much more signicant management over the years but are still bordered by hedgerows.Is an area of grassaland and scrub in the process of being restored by the side of the river Skell on the urban edge of Ripon. Access is by Public Rights of Way off the B6265 Mallorie Park Drive The total area is 9Ha. The Skell has cut through the magnesisan limestone ridge and about 800m from the reserve is another reserve and SSI at Quarry Moor LNR with a large variety of species including Dingy Skipper and many more calacareous grasslands and meadows in Studley Park. View below is start of S2 of semi improved calcareous grassland
S1 is somewhat scrubby area and part woodland and has good numbers ofshady hedgerow species like Speckled Wood, Orange tip and Comma and few grassalnd species S2 has the highest counts and is the highest quality unimproved grassland area, It has seen the rare Wall along with the threatened Small Heath and other Grassland species including Gatekeeper and Large Skipper. S3 is scrubby with few butterflies. S4 is a little more grassy and Small Copper is seen along with a few Small Heath but S5 sees a big jump in numbers along leefy hedgerows with a wide variety of common species. S6 is the southside of a hedge and mature trees. S7 is a favourite of teh small copper and lies at the back of domestic gardens S8 bounds teh play area and its hedgerow is a favourite of the orange Tip and teh other whites.