With our spring workshops under our belt we’re looking forward to summer (if the weather ever warms up!) and trips to Aysgarth and Malham. As the fresh spring greens fade away summer can be a tricky time for landscape photography, but something to look forward to later in the season is a splash of colour across the moorland as the heather comes into bloom. There’s no shortage of heather across the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors so we’re spoilt for choice for locations, but Nidderdale is always worth a look as it tends to be a bit quieter and there’s plenty to look at within easy reach of Pateley Bridge.
One such spot is Nought Moor, easily accessible from roadside parking at the top of Nought Bank Road – or you can combine it with a loop walk from Pateley Bridge along the River Nidd and up through Guisecliff Wood and then back down through Skrikes Wood and Bewerley.
My visit last year was on a day with blustery conditions and a mixture of light and dark clouds so the light was changing all the time giving the chance to photograph picture postcard shots of heather and blue sky but also more moody images.
My favourite image of my visit was the rock surrounded by heather (above) captured when the skies were at their heaviest with the more diffused light giving the heather a more subtle hue. I like the movement in the image with the wind swirling through the heather around the rock.
Also, standing proudly on the edge of Guise Cliff just a short walk along the path on the other side of the road from the parking place, is Yorke’s Folly (known locally as Two Stoops) which makes another interesting subject especially if you can find a nice spot in the heather to shoot from. The moor is all access land but there are generally a few well trodden paths to explore (and note there may be restrictions in place due to ground nesting birds at some times).
There are also a number of shooting shelters amongst the heather (presumably originally intended for a different sort of shooting…) which can provide a focal point amongst the heather – though a nice shaped rock is always much better!