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Events around Settle April on

Have you noticed the bushes beside some of our roads that are just starting to produce white blossom?

Do you know if they are Hawthorn or Blackthorn (also known as Sloe)?  Sloe will have sour fruit like tiny plums in October – they can be used for making excellent wine.   Hawthorn bushes produce red haws. The young leaves and shoots of common hawthorn are edible and were once known as “bread and cheese”..

Sloe flowers come out before their leaves, and the flowers come out early in the year. Hawthorn flowers come out AFTER the leaves.

So the white bushes (with no leaves)  we see today in early April are sloe.


Hawthorn comes out a month later in late May. The upper picture of Sloe was taken at the top of Castleberg Crag in Settle in on 1 April 2014. These bushes were cut down c 2019.  The scientific name for sloe is easy to remember:  Prunus spinosus. The lower picture was taken on 17 Apr 2020.

I may (or may not) be posting about Settle Wildflowers again this year on Facebook.  (and linking back to my 2020 Lockdown blog)

All Events:

Mon 1 April: First of the month walk: climate walk – Penyghent  – this was cancelled due to wet weather forecast.

Wed 3 Apr: Coffee Morning at St John’s Methodist Church:  for Guide Dogs for the Blind 10.30-12.00

Thur 4 April: Settle Scottish Dancing Class at St John’s Methodist Church Settle BD24 9JH 7.30pm  – Also each Thursday in April.

Sat 6 & Sun 7 April: Bank House Wildlife Garden, Far Westhouse, Ingleton  – Call in between 11am-5pm with Roger and Liz Neale – booking required   contact Roger Neale 01524 241155. Light Refreshments available. Members of Craven Conservation Group and Kirkby Lonsdale Cumbria Wildlife Supporters group will know Roger and Liz.

Mon 8 Apr: 7.15pm  Craven Speakers Club,   Skipton.
Gain confidence, experience and have a fun, relaxing evening out.
We had three new people last session!
You are welcome in the audience. You are welcome to join in the activities.
The Soroptimists Rooms, 28 Otley Street BD23 1EW.  £5-00 per person. First meeting free.     and
See also other Speakers Clubs in Yorkshire at Halifax, Wetherby, Shipley, York, Sheffield and online at Bradford.

Sat 13 April: ACE  Action on Climate Emergency Settle:   Café  “At April’s Green Café  we will be joined by Fiona Protheroe – Climate Emergency Officer at North Yorkshire Council – who will be telling us about how the Council is delivering its climate change strategy 2023 to 2030, through a ‘climate strategy delivery pathway’ and answering your questions about how this impacts on us locally and what you would like to see included.
You can find out more about the Council’s strategy here.
Event timings:
10.30-11am: Cafe – chat over refreshments about topical issues and buy your fair trade rice towards our year long 90Kg rice challenge.
11am-12 Noon: North Yorkshire Council’s climate actions and Q&A.
12Noon-12.30: Actions update, notices and close”

Sun 14th April 2024, 9:30am   Cumbria lichens and mosses group:  Ewefell mire, Newbiggin on Lune    Gary Lawrence

Settle Ground Nest Fest Sun 14 – Sun 21 April – Events based on Ground Nesting birds – organised by the Folly (Museum of North Craven Life) and Wild Ingleborough (YWT) and others

Sun 14 Apr: Curlew Awareness Day: To help raise awareness of the critically endangered curlew, Friends of the Dales is hosting a one-day outdoor installation event on Sunday April 14 at Malham. ready for World Curlew Day on 21 April Up to 20 life-size curlew sculptures made by Creative Campaigners (aged 20-30)  − will be placed in the field alongside the pathway that links Malham village to Janet’s Foss (by kind agreement of farmers)

In the last 25 years alone (1995-2020) the UK has lost nearly 50% of breeding curlew – with Wales, Northern Ireland and southern lowland England now having almost no breeding curlew left at all.

16 April : Sycamore Buds Break Day: This is the date I predict that the sycamore buds will break each year.  They were late in 2021.  Here is 2014 .
Yes, Elderberry leaves are out now – but you watch the sycamore and see when they come!!  It will depend on the temperature these next two weeks.

18 April 7.30pm    CCG talk:      Shelley Rhodes from the National Trust: Talk on Restoring our Peatlands     St John’s Methodist Church, Settle BD24 9JH

Sat 20 April: Ground Nest Fest DAY Event – Saturday Event to be held at St John’s Methodist Church Settle – organised by Wild Ingleborough and the Folly and the Peat Partnership.  I hope any of you that are members of Craven Conservation Group and Eco-Explorers will contribute too.

Sun 21 April: World Curlew Day:   Note there is a competition (with over 16 and under 16 categories – art and poetry and bake-off) for this but you have to send in your digital entries by 14 April

Sun 21 April 10.30am – St John’s Methodist Church will be having a slightly different service at 10.30am to celebrate Earth Day (actually 22 April)

Mon 22 Apr: 7.15pm  Craven Speakers Club,   Skipton.
Would you like the opportunity
to improve your confidence and skills
for giving a speech / public announcement / reading?
Try our friendly, fun, supportive meetings.
The Soroptimists Rooms, 28 Otley Street BD23 1EW.  £5-00 per person. First meeting free.     and   (Contact me for details if you wish)

Wed 24 April 4pm: Settle Eco-Explorers
Meeting on alternate weeks. Eco Explorers for children aged 4-11 (but must bring an adult, and may bring younger or older siblings if you wish): Restarts Wed 24 April at St John’s Methodist Church Hall at 4pm. Seed planting, Bird watching indoor activities included and possible outdoor activity if weather good), We meet fortnightly and after this most future events will be OUTDOOR walks. Contact me (Judith) for details.

Tue 30 Apr – Mon 6 May – Ride2Stride 2024 Walking and Music Festival along the Settle Carlisle Line.

Wed 1 May – Climate Walk – Location near Settle to be decided.

Sat 11 May    YNU Bryology Section – Halton Gill – Meet at 10:00 am in the lay-by at Halton Gill, grid reference SD88067646

22 June: YNU Vice County 64 Field Meeting: Lower Winskill Farm Settle

Regular Events:

Other Natural History Meetings in Yorkshire:

Every Wednesday: Settle Slimming World:
Settle Social Club, Duke St Settle

Weds 9am 10.30am & 6.30pm. No booking required. Details: contact Maxine 07713020736

 Various dates:  Nordic walking Nordic walking fitness walks.


Swimming Pool is open .

You can book online and see which sessions have lots of spaces.
Even though prices had to go up last week slightly, it is still good value.  Please encourage your friends to go.
There is a café


Best wishes from

Judith Allinson

Become a Grass Expert:
If you live on the limestone side of Settle you should have seen the Blue Boor-grass by now. (See end).

By mid/late April two more grasses will be appearing in meadows and road verges throughout the county: Meadow Foxtail and Sweet Vernal-grass:-
Meadow Foxtail: (right)
(This is slightly tapered at each end of the spike-like inflorescence, and comes out much earlier than Timothy which appears in June.)

Sweet Vernal-grass
This is one of my favourite grasses- read about it here: –  

See the whiskers
at the blade sheath junction of the leaf.

Blue Moor-grass Sesleria caerulea see my blog  This is definitely out now.
If you look REALLY hard in the Limestone rocky places above Settle (e.g. the car park at Winskill Stones Pavement above Langcliffe  you will find just coming out: Blue Moor-grass. (Sesleria caerulea) growing with my favourite moss Breutelia chrysocoma 

I hope you look out for lots of wildflowers and search for grasses this month.


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