Walk or cycle amongst the 8000 of God’s Own Acres of woodland in Dalby Forest just north of Pickering A169 or on the A170 Thornton Le Dale road towards Whitby. There are 55 miles of cycle trails starting from the cycle hire facility in Dalby Courtyard or bring your own, it will be cheaper. Look out for the cycle skills area at Dixon’s Hollow.
The forest is divided by a number of valleys creating a ‘Rigg and Dale’ landscape whilst to the north the forest sits on the upland plateau. This can be seen from the 9 mile Dalby drive but walking lets you see far more. Although comprising mostly pines and spruces there are many broadleaf trees such as oak, beech, ash, alder and hazel both in the valleys and on the ‘Riggs’. It is a working forest for the Forestry Commission so watch out for ‘heavy plant crossing’. For wild life the forest is home for birds such as ‘the Crossbill and that elusive summer visitor the Nightjar. Roe deer abound and badgers, the symbol of the forest, are a very common but nocturnal resident.’
Evidence of early settlers is to be found in earthworks and burial mounds. These must be amongst the first Yorkshire men and women to work the land as there is evidence of rabbit breeding. If this isn’t enough for the children there is an activity centre and adventure play areas at Sneverton and Adderstone Field.
The Friends of Dalby Forest issue the following warning but do not let it put you off visiting a great forest in North Yorkshire
‘Biters, Stingers & Poisoners
Adders are the only common snakes on the North York Moors. They are unlikely to be encountered on any of our guided events this year. They have a nasty bite if provoked but form an important part of our environment and should be respected rather than feared.
Midges and mosquitoes – Many people find midges and mosquitoes annoying. They can be a nuisance, especially on still, summer evenings. If they bother you use a proprietary insect repellent.
Ticks – These are small relatives of the spider family. They live by sucking the blood of other animals including man. In some areas they carry a nasty infection known as Lyme disease. Ticks are not a problem on most of our walks, however if you are walking amongst vegetation especially off paths and wish to avoid any chance of being bitten wear long trousers tucked into socks.
Plants and Fungi – Some plants and fungi are harmful if swallowed and some people react to skin contact with certain plants. Our plant and fungus experts do not encourage picking and eating. Simply cleaning the hands after handling these things should be enough to keep both adults and children safe.’