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The Dalby Forest lies in the majestic northern uplands at the edge of North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It is mostly a conifer forest, but the landscape has numerous other trees including oak, ash, beech, alder and hazel, these with their broad leaves create lovely shaded glens, ideal for spotting forest wildlife.
At the break of day all along the forest trails, morning glory is a celebration of beautiful birdsong. Lofty trees provide a home to a number of birds these include the crossbill and the nightjar. Often at this time you can hear the gentle sound of squirrel searching around for food and in any of the dappled glades you can sometimes spot roe deer. Badgers too, are feature of the forest, but being nocturnal creatures, the badger can sometimes be difficult to spot.
This is a wonderful landscape to explore, it was once the Royal Hunting Forest of Pickering, and it is easy to see why the nobility of centuries ago enjoyed a good days sport in these picturesque surroundings. There are miles of forest tracks to wander, taking you through heathland, valley's, hill-tops, streams and past a beautiful lake. The forest can be accessed by car, a nine mile scenic drive links Thornton-le-Dale to Hackness, this is way-marked and gives glimpses of some of the forest's most picturesque places.
Another feature of the forest is the Burial mounds belonging to former inhabitants; historically the forest is believed to have been formed in the Ice-Age, taking shape in the Bronze-Age, left to almost perish until it became naught but a rabbit warren, and then in 1920 it potential and historic nature was recognised and replanting began.
Today, Dalby Forest is a popular place to spend a tranquil day out. It offers so much for everyone, a butterfly walk, bird-watching, badger watching, lovely places to picnic, wild woods and the sweetness of a sun-kissed lake.
The forestry commission organise a year long calendar of events, this includes a star watching event in September as well as night-time Badger watching.
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