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Viewing 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 F,S,A,

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 387
 Date Entered 06/12/2011
 Updated on 19/05/2015
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Tree Site Record
 Record Type Botanical HER
 SWAAG Site Name 
 Site Type 
 Site Name 
 Site Description 
 Site Access Army Range
 Location Gayles CP Waitegate Wood
 Civil Parish Gayles
 Brit. National Grid NZ 083 049
 Altitude 330m-360m
 Geology Stream cut ravine through sandstones (The Twenty-seven Fathom Grit) on eastern bank of Waitegate Beck faulted against strata below the Underset Limestone on the western bank. Reference: British Geological survey:'Geology of the North Pennine Orefield'. Volume 2 Stainmore to Craven.Page 48 and Figure 8 Section 4.
 Record Name GAY100 Waitegate Wood. Upland oak-birch wood.
 Record Description  GAY100 Gayles CP. Waitegate Wood NZ083049 Centre. Army Range. Permission essential. 300m-340m AOD Sandstones below Underset Limestone series faulted aginst the Underset Limestone on western and southern edges of wood. Westerly aspect. Waitegate Wood is the only surviving pure stand of (W11,W16,W17) upland oak-birch woodland in Swaledale. Birch and oak do grow elsewhere in Swaledale as a fringe of Oak-Birch woodland on base poor soils over chert strata above scars/cliffs formed by the Underset and Main Limestones. Native Oak does not grow west of Reeth except at How Edge Scars in Muker Parish. The main area of Waitegate Wood occupies the steep eastern slope of Waitegate Gill. Here, acidic soils derived from the underlying sandstone supports oak-birch woodland with native pedunculate oak and sessile oak which may be planted following abandonment of the earlier pastures marked by the presence of three low stone orthostatic field banks which run down slope through the woodland. Areas of earlier pasture have been colonised by very old downy birch and rowan. The upper fringe of stunted oak trees may have survived the clearance to provide shelter. In all areas a varied field layer survives with greater woodrush, blaeberry, blue bell, wavy hair grass, male fern, broad buckler fern and hard fern dominant. Hazel, ash,wych elm and bird cherry are entirely absent from this woodland except on the slightly enriched soils close to Rake Beck and its small east bank tributary streams. Slight soil enrichment close to the stream supports fine old coppiced alders, occasional ash, hazel and sallow (S.cinerea), bird cherry, downy birch and rowan, birch, a single stunted pedunculate oak with a more varied field layer which includes Mountain or Lemon-scented fern. The acidic oak-birch woodland on the eastern side of Waitegate Gill contrasts sharply with the (W8) hazel-rich limestone ashwood woodland on the calcareous morainic soils and talus of opposite western bank of Waitegate Gill derived from the overlying limestone of Kersey Green Scar. The appearance of the oak trees at Waitegate differ, the first type of oak present is mossy, lichen covered, has many bosses and stunted. These are likely to be native trees. The second type of oak has a clean moss free trunk with no bosses or shoots. these trees may have been planted following the earlier clearance of the native trees for pasture. The oak birch woodland terminates abruptly at NZ084047 on the line of a fault which brings the sandstones into contact with more base rich strata marked by the appearance here of elder, bird cherry and hazel. Downy birch, sessile oak, rowan. Ash, wych elm, hazel, elder, etc (all are present downstream of the fault and on the western bank of Waitegate Beck.) Although birch seedlings fringe the upper edge of the wood there is no regeneration of the sessile oak ot of the birch trees within the wood and all the rowans in the wood are old. For further further discussion on the context of Waitegate Wood, see Laurie 2004. ‘Springs, Woods and Transhumance. Reconstructing a Pennine landscape during Later Prehistory’. In Landscapes, Vol 5, No 1. Spring 2004.73-102. Site Image Description(s): Waitegate Wood (LH Bank) with Kersey Green Scar (RH Bank and Distant) viewed from the north. Waitegate Wood Waitegate Wood Stunted oak. Qu. robur. The only example of Qu robur Mossy and with bossed trunk. Stunted oak. Qu, robur. Detail of bossed trunk.. Stunted oak. Qu, robur. Detail Stunted oak. Qu, robur. Detail Stunted oak. Qu, robur. Detail Stunted oak. Qu, robur. With bilberry, Vaccineum myrtrillus as epiphyte. Stunted oak. Qu, robur. Detail Sessile oak. Qu. petraea. Clean stemmed form. Stunted oak. Qu. petraea. Detail
 Dimensions See photos
 Geographical area Swaledale North Bank Catchment
 Species Pedunculate and Sessile Oak.with Downy birch.
 Scientific Name  Qu. robur and Qu. petraea
 Common / Notable Species To follow
 Tree and / or Stem Girth 
 Tree: Position / Form / Status 
 Tree Site ID 0
 Associated Site SWAAG ID 0
 Additional Notes Vegetation not yet recorded.
 Image 1 ID 1600         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description Waitegate Wood (LH Bank) with Kersey Green Scar (RH Bank and Distant) viewed from the north.
 Image 2 ID 1601         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Waitegate Wood.
 Image 3 ID 1602         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description Waitegate Wood.
 Image 4 ID 1603         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description Stunted oak. Qu. robur. The only example of Qu robur
 Image 5 ID 1604         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description Mossy and with bossed trunk.
 Image 6 ID 1605         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description Stunted oak. Qu, robur.
 Image 7 ID 1606         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description 
 Image 8 ID 1607         Click image to enlarge
 Image 8 Description 
 Image 9 ID 1608         Click image to enlarge
 Image 9 Description 
 Image 10 ID 1609         Click image to enlarge
 Image 10 Description 
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