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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Belsay Hall

I was informed that we could now visit English Heritage properties for free with a corporate pass  well to good an opportunity to miss so we headed off to Belsay Hall as I have not been here for some time , I am not to impressed with the house/hall itself but the grounds I do like some nice paths wend there way to the ruined castle , and another path takes you past the lake and through a woodland in a circle . Nuthatch a plenty calling , and 2 Great Spotted drumming , with Tufted Mallard Teal on the lake and nesting Mute swans ,I thought we might have had Willow warbler and Chiffs but no although they could have been singing in the early morn . While at the castle I looked back and said look a swallow my first of the year ,but putting the bins on it it turned out to be a bat turning and flying close to the wall it just disappeared we sat in the sun for ten or so minutes in the hope it would re-emerge for a photo but no luck , so not first Swallow of the year but first Bat.
Although it does puzzle me why we have to have two organizations National Trust and English Heritage  to look after properties for the nation Belsay is well worth a visit for the grounds alone and it's not too far to get there , they seem to have a lot of special events  throughout the year so they might tempt you  !!  
 The hall although I have been in several times we gave it a miss this visit far to nice a day

 The walks through the old quarry are particularly good ,nice sheltered sun traps

 which bring you out onto the castle
View from the castle roof

 What  little ecosystem lives on top of this rock which has probably been isolated for about 100 years
 Model Plan of the house lower right and castle left

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