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Viewing swaag.org website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 811
 Date Entered 07/06/2014
 Updated on 14/06/2014
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Tree Site Record
 Record Type Botanical HER
 Site Access Public Footpath
 Record Date 06/06/2014
 Location Both banks of the River Cover below and to the south of Braidley in Coverdale
 Civil Parish Carlton Town
 Brit. National Grid SE 031 796
 Altitude 265m
 Geology Glacial till over the Middle Limestone series and River Cover flood plain.
 Record Name Alderwoods on both banks of the River Cover upstream from the footbridge below Braidley.
 Record Description This record will provide photographic images taken both in winter and in early summer of the very fine, managed alder woods which survive today on the north bank of the River Cover below Braidley on the north bank and at Derry Close, Low pasture and at West Close on the southern side of the River Cover. These woodlands, once extended across the whole of lower, and most of the upper slopes of Coverdale. Alders are the dominant tree species on wet spring flushed soils over glacial boulder clays and colluvium on the lower dale sides. Alder woods, originally widespread and managed by coppice and pollarding for charcoal and useful small wood, have long been opened up as pasture. These woodlands are now largely confined to the riversides and to the confines of the many small stream-cut steep sided ravines on both sides of the river. Whereas alders are by far the most dominant tree in these woods, occasional isolated ash trees, old downy birch trees and rowan survive on the top edge of steep banks and on drier soils wherever the presence of glacial gravels and better drainage allows. Sallows are present, but not common anywhere. For details of the species composition of Alderwoods, see J.S. Rodwell, 1991. Editor. British Plant Communities. Volume 1: Woodlands and Scrub,102-112: W7 Alnus glutinosa- Fraxinus excelsior-Lysimachia nemorum woodland.
 Dimensions From the footbridge over the River Cover at Derry Close to the pastures upstream of West Close
 Additional Notes These images will be arranged to provide: a)Images of the Alderwoods as seen from the unfenced road west of Braidley. b)Images of the riverside woods. c)Images of the woodlands on the Dale side. d)Images of the alders , ash and downy birch trees. NOTE! During the most recent visit to Wensleydale to record individual trees for the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Hunt Website, see http://www.ancient-tree-hunt.org.uk/ it was apparent that very many mature and young ash trees throughout Lower Swaledale, Wensleydale, Coverdale, by the Motorway and nearby countryside were visibly distressed with evident leaf loss. Fearing the worst and that Ash Die Back had arrived in the area we looked at one or two visibly affected trees. The symptoms were of ash bud moth damage and no evidence of lesions or other known signs of ash die back were seen. Samples were taken for laboratory analysis and diagnosis. We await the results. Affected trees show severe leaf loss and deformation of the emerging leaf at the bud. Several ash trees were entirely leafless, leaf cover to most affected trees was very reduced. Affected trees can be seen everywhere. Such serious damage will weaken the ash trees and render them susceptible to ash die back fungus attack if and when this different scourge arrives. This is a foretaste of the threat to come and drives home the need to record the trees while they are still alive.
 Image 1 ID 5449         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description View from Braidley towards Whernside over the alders of Low Pasture
 Image 2 ID 5456         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Ancient alder below the footbridge over the Cover at Derry Close
 Image 3 ID 5457         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description River Cover. View upstream from the footbridge.
 Image 4 ID 5458         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description River Cover. View upstream from the footbridge.
 Image 5 ID 5450         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description The view down to Low Pasture Alderwoods across the Cover from Braidley
 Image 6 ID 5453         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description West Close from the unfenced road west of Braidley
 Image 7 ID 5454         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description Whernside across the moorland above the limit of the present alder wood.
 Image 8 ID 5455         Click image to enlarge
 Image 8 Description Whernside across the moorland above the limit of the present alder wood. Alders would previously have grown on the wet flushed moorland here also.
 Image 9 ID 5460         Click image to enlarge
 Image 9 Description Recording ancient coppiced alders on abandoned river bank.
 Image 10 ID 5461         Click image to enlarge
 Image 10 Description These ancient coppiced alders mark a previous line of the south bank of the River Cover
 Image 11 ID 5462
 Image 11 Description Alders at ford.
 Image 12 ID 5464
 Image 12 Description Low Pasture. Birch and alders line the streams.
 Image 13 ID 5465
 Image 13 Description Low Pasture. Ancient alder with exposed root column denoting the amount of erosion since coppicing.
 Image 14 ID 5466
 Image 14 Description Alder at top of stream ravine. Low Pasture.
 Image 15 ID 5480
 Image 15 Description West Close.
 Image 16 ID 5468
 Image 16 Description Detail of this streamside alder.
 Image 17 ID 5469
 Image 17 Description The exposed, columnar structure of the alder root system and ancient soil line denotes the erosion since last coppiced.
 Image 18 ID 5470
 Image 18 Description Alderwoods at Low Pasture and Derry Close from the road.
 Image 19 ID 5471
 Image 19 Description This fine ash tree has suffered from the ravages of the ash bud moth and is distressed with much reduced and deformed leaf.
 Image 20 ID 5472
 Image 20 Description Alders by the River Cover.
 Image 21 ID 5473
 Image 21 Description Alder on the riverbank.
 Image 22 ID 5474
 Image 22 Description Managed alder at old riverbank hedgerow.
 Image 23 ID 5475
 Image 23 Description Large riverside ash coppice.
 Image 24 ID 5476
 Image 24 Description 
 Image 25 ID 5477
 Image 25 Description Distressed ash tree by the Cover. The much reduced and deformed leafage of this fine tree is the consequence of Ash Bud Moth grub infestation. Very many ash trees show this damage.
 Image 26 ID 5478
 Image 26 Description The same ash tree.
 Image 27 ID 5479
 Image 27 Description Detail of the ash bud damage and deformation.
 Image 28 ID 5481
 Image 28 Description Woodale, Ridge Scar.Very large and ancient Wych elm coppice on low limestone cliff upstream of the Alderwoods.
 Image 29 ID 5482
 Image 29 Description The bole of this large cliff self or wind coppiced wych elm measured 7.8m girth at the base.
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