IP 8 – River Wharfe

IP8The River Wharfe (meaning ‘winding river’, old English weorf and Norse hverfr) is a habitat for grayling and trout, which are fished by members of the Pool Angling Club from this bank and the Leeds and District Amalgamated Society of Anglers from the other bank.  Fish in the river Wharfe at this point have also included chub, perch and roach.  Currently the water quality does not support many of the species very well, and populations seem to be diminished.

Otter spraints have been seen nearby, so this elusive mammal may live in the locality.  The fields opposite are the home of families of hares, which can sometimes be seen chasing each other around.  Stand here for long enough, and you will probably catch a glimpse of a kingfisher flying past just above the water.  Mallard and goosanders swim by at most times of the year, the ducks with families of up to 12 ducklings in attendance in June and July, and in the summer the air is alive with flocks of sand martins, swallows, house martins and swifts.  The river frequently floods here in winter

Link to RSPB bird identification https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdidentifier/

In the distance, across the fields, Almscliffe Crag can just be seen behind Riffa Wood.  This is an outcrop of millstone grit that was left standing proud when the softer shale and mudstone surrounding it were weathered down.  The artist Turner stayed regularly at Farnley Hall, and at least one of his paintings features the bridge and Almscliffe Crag (The Valley of the River Wharfe from Caley Crags, with Almscliff Crag and Pool Bridge in the Distance, J M W Turner, 1818).


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