North York Moors Heather Bloom 2019

Summer is here again and the ling heather is in full bloom across the moors, after last year’s poor showing due to the drought condition I have hopes that this year will be much better!

This will be a living post, i’ll update it with new pictures as they are shot and as the season progresses.

Firstly, an explanation about heather, there’s three different types. First is bell heather which starts to flower in early July. Bell heather is a pink/purple with larger bell shaped flowers. Next is cross heather which
has leaves arranged in crosses of four on its stems, this tends to grow around boggy areas, lastly and most common is ling heather. Ling heather is responsible for turning the entire moors purple in mid to late august and into early September.

11th July 2019 Cockshaw Hill

Thursday 11th July 2019, the early flowering bell heather is in full bloom and the days are long and hot. Wild blueberries or bilberries as they are known locally have come to fruit.

13th August Castleton

Castleton in the North York Moors with the heather in bloom.
Tuesday 13th August 2019, a farm surrounded by the moors with the ling heather in full bloom. The gentle scent of honey on the wind and the hum of bees.

13th August Danby Beacon

Tuesday 13th August 2019, sunset over Danby Beacon.

A beacon has stood proudly over the village of Danby on the North York Moors for over 400 years. It dates back to the 1600s when the country was living under the threat of invasion from France. It was the duty of a soldier and his wife, stationed upon the moor, to be vigilant and watch for the expected French fleet. If they had sight of them they were to light up the beacon, which would be the first inland fire of warning.

20th August Egton Moor

The Lone Tree on Egton Moor at twilight.
20th August, the Lone Tree on Egton Moor at twilight.

23rd August – Timelapse and Drone

A day off work saw me head out into the moors to capture some more of the heather. The sky was blue with fast moving fluffy white clouds, the sort of sky that is perfect for timelapse work. Timelapse work can be very protracted and it was a very hot day so I was glad for the fact that many of these locations allowed me to sit in the shade of the car running the air conditioning occasionally!

A tractor winds its way down the road through a sea of heather as far as the eye can see.
A single frame from a timelapse taken near Danby Beacon, walkers and cyclists tracing the route through the moors. Note the motion blur created by ‘dragging the shutter’, a timelapse technique for creating a smooth final video. This timelapse was used in the BBC series ‘A Wild Year’.
Another timelapse taken of one of the old signposts found across the moors.
 A long exposure photograph of the clouds moving over the old signposts at Danby.
A long exposure photograph of the clouds moving over the old signposts at Danby.
Another timelapse of Fryupdale from Oakley Walls with a field being harvested in the distance near Lealholm. Head on into the sun the conditions were challenging but the light playing across the valley was fantastic and a very dynamic scene.
At the crossroads at Oakley Walls with a perfect carpet of heather behind me.
A bird’s eye view of the field being harvested near Lealholm.
On the way home I couldn’t help but stop at Danby Beacon to capture the final timelapse of the day.

29th August Swainby

Thursday 29th August. A stormy sunset looking over Whorlton hill and the village of Swainby below. The ling heather was starting to look past its best with a fair amount of browned out flowers.


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