MAY BECK

A lovely walk in a wooded val­ley on the North York­shire Moors

Bird Watching (UK) - - World War I Centenary - BERNARD JONES

This is a fas­ci­nat­ing walk through a wooded val­ley with, in parts, very steep drops from the track to the beck. The tracks are rough and stony in parts but not too dif­fi­cult. It is in­ter­est­ing that it is part of the coast-to-coast walk, end­ing at Robin Hood’s Bay just a few miles away. Along the route is a mag­nif­i­cent 30ft wa­ter­fall called Fall­ing Foss – the lat­ter a word from the Old Norse lan­guage, used by the Vik­ings who set­tled in these parts. The wa­ter­fall is next to the tea room gar­den, which was orig­i­nally a game­keeper’s cot­tage, and now a pop­u­lar break for walk­ers. If you look down at the beck below the wa­ter­fall you should see the lo­cal Grey Wag­tails. In the out­door café area, many of the lo­cal birds can be seen, such as Robin, Blue and Great Tit, Chaffinch, Black­bird and Wood­pi­geon. But jour­ney on and you’ll shortly come to The Her­mitage, an 18th Cen­tury cave cut out of a huge boul­der and the ‘home’ of a her­mit liv­ing alone and us­ing the for­est for food, shel­ter and fuel. Who it was carved by, and why, is not ex­plained. Then move on to Lit­tle­beck Wood for those wood­land birds such as Lesser Spot­ted Wood­pecker, Nuthatch and many oth­ers. Now walk back on the other side (west) of the beck in­clud­ing some open ar­eas to add to the va­ri­ety.

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