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Rosedale Community News

Welcome to the Rosedale blog. This is where we share news and information about events in Rosedale and the wider community throughout the year. You’ll also find news about the village timetable, our micro enterprises, school events, clubs, and lively socials.

Recent Posts

Body Shop Party – Wednesday 18 October 2017

The Rosedale Abbey Home School Association is hosting a Body Shop party on Wednesday 18 October from 6.30 to 9.00pm in the Rosedale Abbey Community Primary School.

Come along to find some great Christmas present ideas and, of course, spoil yourself!

Refreshments will be available and all proceeds will go to the School.

Hope to see you all at the School on Wednesday evening.

Last Day in the Shop

Today, Sunday 15 )ctober 2017, is the last day that Anne Wright will open Abbey Stores for business, before closing down and the new owners, Helen and Craig take over and re-open on Thursday 19 October.

Looking forward to retirement!

Anne has been running Abbey Stores since May 2002 and is off to Whixley, between York and Harrogate for a well earned retirement, re-decorating her house and walking Ollie the dog.


All in Rosedale wish her the very best for the future and look forward to welcoming the new proprietors next week.

Rosedale Abbey Churchyard Conservation Area Cutting – 20 October 2017

The annual cutting of the conservation area of the Rosedale Abbey graveyard will be on Friday 20 October 2017 starting at 10.00am. If you can make it please come along with a strimmer/scythe and a rake and join the NYMNPA volunteers in carrying out this important conservation task.

The NYMNP volunteers and locals at work from 2016

As an added incentive Anthea will be providing refreshments, but it would help if you could bring along a cake or a packet of biscuits to help out!


Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Friday 20th October and let’s make short work of the job.

Long-eared owl winter roost 2015-16

In Rosedale we have a healthy population of both Barn owls and Tawny owls and we get occasional glimpses of Short-eared owls over the moor but when a Long-eared owl decided to make our dale its winter roost in 2015/16 it was a very special time. It was observed for over two months on a regular basis hunting in rough pasture with plenty of gorse thickets and a thick hawthorn hedge making for a good roost site.

The Long-eared owl was first noticed on 23 November 2015 at 3.30pm when it was quartering the rough pasture at the same time as a Barn owl and a Kestrel. Immediately it was clear there was a noticeable difference between the two owls, one being darker than the other but light conditions were not good. It was a few day later when it was confirmed that the darker owl was indeed a Long-eared owl; the orange eyes and ear tufts unmistakable.

Orange eyes and ear tufts visible as the Long-eared owl sits on the bow perch

It became a routine, each afternoon a walk out to see if it would make an appearance and it didn’t disappoint. On average every couple of days the Long-eared owl was seen quartering the rough pasture from mid – late afternoon as the light began to fade, settling at times on the ground, on a fence post or branch of gorse or low down in a hawthorn tree. It would make spectacular flights, low to the ground, back and forth, coming close to the fence. Occasionally it would hover only briefly but beautiful to watch. It was not always obvious to see. At times a good scan of the ground and thickets with binoculars would locate it just sitting there perfectly camouflaged content to watch the world go by. On one occasion in late December the weather was poor with light intermittent rain and the Long-eared owl lifted from the fence flying towards the edge of the gorse thickets where it tucked itself close in on the ground. It remained there visible for over an hour. Meanwhile, a Barn owl continued to quarter the pasture and a Kestrel appeared. The Long-eared owl watched on as the Barn owl dropped on a vole and lifted off with its quarry. The Kestrel swooped in to steal the Barn owl’s prey, attacking mid-air. Both locked talons and went to ground. A tussle and it was over, the Kestrel flew off triumphant, the Barn owl robbed of its meal only to have to start again. And the Long-eared owl – it just continued to look on about 30m away.

Many times the Long-eared owl was observed dropping to the ground, folding its wings at the last minute to catch prey but only once was it seen with actual prey. On taking its quarry, likely as not a vole, it took a short flight and dropped to the ground. It opened its wings and hunched over, mantling its prey before swallowing it whole. It made another short flight to a well used bow perch on the edge of the gorse and preened itself, full and content.

On 14 January 2016 it was an absolute delight to see the Long-eared owl quartering the rough pasture at 7.35am. It was flying low and dropping regularly to the ground into a fair covering of snow. This was the first sighting of it at dawn.

Perched in hawthorn

On a bright and sunny afternoon in January with the ground covered in snow there was a Kestrel, two Magpies and a Barn owl at the far end of the rough pasture but the Long-eared owl was nowhere to be seen. Just as all hope of seeing it was fading it appeared straight out of the hawthorn hedge. It came out at speed like a bullet and straight in to hunting. Talk about making an entrance.

Alas, it couldn’t last for ever. On 31 January 2016 it appeared at 3.20pm quartering the rough pasture in light rain. It landed a few times as it worked its way along the pasture and beyond. It was gone and this was to be the last sighting.

A few days later it was clear the Long-eared owl had left the area and a search around the bow perch revealed four pellets. Pellets regurgitated by Long-eared owls are light grey and slightly smaller than those of Barn owls. Analysis of the four pellets by Derek Capes of Great Ayton revealed skeletons of seven Field voles and one Wood mouse.

Grey pellets of Long-eared owl made up of fur and bones of Field voles and Wood mouse

The rough pasture was also hunted regularly by at least three different Barn owls and a Kestrel and on 10 January 2016 there were two Common buzzards, a Barn owl, a Kestrel and the Long-eared owl all in the pasture. On another occasion the Long-eared owl and a Barn owl were quartering in the pasture whilst a Tawny owl could be heard calling lower down in the dale. What a great dale we live in and such a privilege to have been in the company of a Long-eared owl that winter.

Just a few facts:

The Long-eared owl is our only true nocturnal owl.

Long-eared owls don’t have long ears. The long feather tufts on the top of the head just look like ear tufts. Ears of owls are where you would expect, at each side of their facial disc.

In winter there is an influx of Long-eared owls in to the UK from the Continent and they roost communally favouring hawthorn and scrubland. Long-eared owls do breed in the UK but numbers are limited.

Long-eared owls are associated with coniferous woodland and scrub habitats during the breeding season and adopt old stick nests like those of crows. They establish breeding territories in February ready to start breeding in March and April. Perhaps it was time this Long-eared owl left to start its journey home to breed. Updale Natural History Recorder

Rosedale History Society Coffee Morning – 7 October 2017

The coffee morning in aid of the Rosedale History Society held in the Coach House Inn raised £260, a valuable contribution to the running of the Society as, for example, it will help cover the costs of the annual research fees for the British Library and contributions to cover the cost of room hire and of broadband provision in the Reading Room.

Lots of chat, cakes and coffee!

Many thanks to all who donated cash, bought cakes and calendars and gave prizes for the raffle, and to Dave and Ali at the Coach House and to Margaret, Janet and Carol for running the raffle with such efficiency.

The next coffee morning will be on Saturday 4 November between 10.00 and 12.00 am, in aid of the Women’s Institute and will also include a craft fair. Also for your diaries, the Christmas Auction will held in the Coach House on Saturday 18 November starting at 8.30pm – auction lots gratefully received.

Land of Iron Project Update – 4 October 2017

Work on the Land Of Iron project continues apace in Rosedale. The repair done to the track at Stone Kilns is greening up nicely and will be barely visible from a distance by this time next year:

Trackway repair as at 4 October 2017

New, bigger interpretation boards have been placed at the three kiln sites:

Stone Kilns Board

Work is currently ongoing to clear the upsteam entrance to the major culvert under Reeking Gill to prevent the dangerous build up of water behind the embankment:

Sean Doughty at work on Reeking Gill

Rosedale History Society Coffee Morning – Saturday 7 October 2017

By courtesy of the proprietor, there will be a coffee morning in the Coach House Inn on Saturday 7 October between 10.00 and 12.00 am in aid of the Rosedale History Society, As well as the ever popular cake sales and raffle, there will be displays of archive photographs and information on family, social and industrial history of the dale. There will also be an update on the This Exploited Land of Iron project.

Coffee and good company

Any donations for the raffle would be gratefully received, but above all come along and enjoy the company, chat and excellent coffee and cakes


Incidents In Rosedale

Sometime in the early hours of Thursday 28 September, a quad bike was deliberately burned out on the path at the northern end of the graveyard in Rosedale Abbey.

Burned Out Quadbike

The incident has been reported to the police and if anyone has further information that may be useful, North Yorkshire Police ask that they ring the 101 non-emergency number and quote Log No 51 of 28 September 2017.

Also if anyone has information on what happened to the old village sign by the graveyard gate, would they please contact their local parish councilor, or if they believe that criminal action was involved then they should contact the same 101 telephone number.

A fascinating study of barn owl pellets reveals harvest mice in Rosedale

Ever wondered what barn owls feed on? Well here it is. Barn owls typically eat small prey items such as mice and voles. They swallow them whole and their digestive system extracts the nutrition as juices and forms a pellet with the remains, namely bones and fur which cannot be digested. The pellet, which is black is regurgitated and dropped from the beak, approximately 6 hours afterwards. A pellet can contain the remains of 2-5 prey items depending on the prey. By collecting and studying these pellets the diet of the barn owl can be monitored which in turn tells us what small mammals are present in our countryside. One such study is being conducted by Derek Capes of Great Ayton to establish the extent of harvest mice within the National Park. Sample pellets from various locations are collected twice a year for analysis. Such is Derek’s knowledge of small mammals he only needs to see the jaw bone in order to identify the species. Two barn owl roost locations in Rosedale provide good numbers of pellets and the results, below are fascinating.

The field vole is the dominant prey for the barn owl with common shrew being an important secondary prey species. Field voles are more nutritious therefore less are required. Shrews are less so and the barn owl needs to expend more energy hunting a higher number. Results have revealed the presence of harvest mice here in the dale. Normally associated with arable crops the harvest mouse is also found to nest in long rough grass and rushes. A local resident at Rosedale East has actually seen harvest mice whilst cutting his grass. He has also provided this fabulous photo of one of our resident barn owls. Very much appreciated.

51 barn owl pellets collected in February 2017 in Rosedale East revealed 8 mammal species present, a total of 254 prey items with mean prey items per pellet of 4.98:

90 Field vole
1 Bank vole
16 Wood mouse
1 Harvest mouse
11 Brown rat
85 Common shrew
43 Pygmy shrew
1 Water shrew
6 birds

80 barn owl pellets collected in February 2017 in Rosedale West revealed 8 mammal species present, a total of 397 prey items with mean prey items per pellet of 4.96:

132 Field vole
12 Bank vole
7 Wood mouse
1 Harvest mouse
5 Brown rat
162 Common shrew
72 Pygmy shrew
4 Water shrew
1 bird
1 frog

The next pellet sample collections are in progress and the results will reveal mammal species over the Spring and Summer seasons.  Updale Natural History Recorder

Resident barn owl in Rosedale

Bones of field voles and wood mouse from a pellet

Barn owl pellet