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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


Flowering now, in a hedge near you, living up to its other name: Maythorn. Monty Don makes some interesting points about this timing in the link below. There are some spectacular ones to be seen around Otley. My photos were taken on the opposite sides of the Wharfe to the east of town. The blossom gives off a strong scent, which is not to everyone's taste - it used to be thought unlucky due to its resemblance to Plague. On the other hand, many trees and hedges survived because farmers considered them unlucky to fell. The young leaves are edible. My mum tells me that in 1930's County Durham they were referred to as "bread and cheese", though this doesn't relate to the taste. The dark red haws are an important winter food source for birds.


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