Sunday, February 5, 2023

 These old Cotoneaster bushes are rooted in fissures in the limestone cliff behind Ashes quarry are Stanhope, in Weardale. Cotoneaster is a genus with many species, mostly from Eastern Asia, that has long been cultivated in Britain for its attractive berries in autumn; these plants would undoubtedly been of garden origin, originally arriving in the quarry in bird droppings. Although almost all berries in the dale have now been eaten by birds, this heavy crop remains almost untouched. This happens every year, and there is no obvious reason why birds should not have taken them. Maybe a flock of redwings or fieldfares will find them soon.


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