Where has all the heather gone?

I was up on the Moor earlier this week, hoping to take some photos of the heather at its finest. In August, the Moor reaches peak purple. But the unusually dry summer has left it parched. There’s plenty of purple on the lower, damper levels and slopes, but the tops are decidedly lacklustre.

This is what it looked like at the trig point in August 2016:

Trig. Point 4144
The trig point on 26-Aug-2016.

…and here’s what it looks like in August 2018:

Trig Point
The trig point on 07-Aug-2018 (note the absence of purple).

It has not been a good year for heather.

With no purple to shoot, I decided to make a time-lapse video of the rocks just below the edge. The same rocks feature on the cover of my book On the Moor. But making a video was really just an excuse for sitting there doing nothing for 20 minutes. I made a brew, took in the view, and admired a family of four kestrels hanging in updraught.

Kestrel
Kestrel.

There are far worse ways to spend 20 minutes.

Anyway, here’s my video:


Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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