Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Buttercup Syrup


There can’t be a more  soothing linctus than sitting in a field of buttercups on a sunny afternoon.

Buttercups 2-1

This springs bizarre weather seems to have bothered the buttercups little. Our field is swathed with them.

Buttercups 3-1

We do little to our meadow, it gets cut for hay* (or haylage) depending on the weather by a neighbouring farmer, he ‘mucks’ and harrows it as required. And puts sheep on it to graze it for a few weeks each year. We pull out a few docks and clumps of nettles each year; but other than that, nature takes its course.

Buttercups 7-1

If it were a commercially farmed field I’m sure it would have been ploughed and re-sown by now, the luxury of lolling around in the buttercups I suspect is not a financial option. In the photo below you can see another field across the valley that would appear to be managed in a similar way to ours, if the  yellow haze of buttercups are an indicator that is.

Buttercups 6-1

I suppose we have a wild flower meadow, although in my head I think that would mean more diversity and less buttercups, I don’t know. I need to do a little research. 

This year is the 150th anniversary of Manchester to Buxton railway line, look I’ve managed a shot of a train trundling up the valley (I was lolling around for quite awhile, as whilst it is a vital line, that  fortunately escaped Beeching’s axe, its not a busy one)

Buttercups 9-1

I wonder what the fields looked like 150 years ago, Freddy the farmer told me there were corncrakes here. Not now. I suppose now there is no way of knowing just how it was.

* Hay from this field smells sweeter than anything Penhaligon’s could sell you.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

22 thoughts on “Buttercup Syrup

  1. Your pictures remind me of my spring afternoon holiday run and roll in the soft grass and wildflowers in rural France of my childhood …

  2. The buttercups round here are quite stupendous this year. There don’t seem to be any other wild flowers in the fields yet.

  3. kind of reminds me of childhood and handpicked bunches for my mum

  4. Beautiful, beautiful land.

    This book- http://www.amazon.com/Meadows-Christopher-Lloyd/dp/0881926280- is exquisite, as is everything in it.

  5. It looks like it’s been a good year for buttercups, as well as daisies and dandelions.
    A most enjoyable post, terrific pictures and informative links. xx

  6. The buttercups are spectacular this year. I’m wondering if there is such a thing as buttercup wine.

    • My dad made beer and wine out of many things (comfery being the most pungent whilst brewing) but never buttercups. Shame, seems to be a waste of such a glut

      • I was fortunate to grow up in the farmland of County Down, where my grandparents had an arable farm and we could spend many happy days running about and enjoying the smells of the flowers, cut grass and new-mown hay.

        As cows had to be grazed, most of the area was used, but there was always one left fallow to rest it, and we were always pleasantly surprised at what flowers appeared. It also allowed us the chance to lie down and gaze at the sky. Marvellous times. Unfortunately, the arrival of large swathes of countrysixe covered with rape seed plants must have put paid to that for many children.

  7. Pingback: The Further Adventure of Spud the Dog, June 16th 2013 | Uphilldowndale

  8. How beautiful! If only the smell could come through the computer with all of the colors!

  9. The sweet smell of fresh cut hay is the perfect summer compliment to a field of buttercups. Lucky you!

  10. Buttercups look beautiful but unfortunately they’re bitter to a cow (or so I’m told) so tend to get left. I actually saw some for sale the other day in a garden centre for £2.50 a pot – start your own wildflower meadow it said on the tag – so I reckon you have several thousand pounds’ worth there!

  11. Buttercups are such a lovely sight and your pictures are delightful.

  12. From my young age, I wished I owned a field, though I was never certain what I would do with it. Sit in it; have picnics in it; sleep in it on warm nights; lend it to the farmer to graze his sheep? Cometh the field, cometh the inspiration, perhaps.

    Anyway, it’s nice to know that someone has achieved my ambition and has a field – or meadow, if you prefer – and is content to keep it as such.

    Among us kids the story was that if you held a buttercup under someone’s chin and their skin reflected the yellow colour, it meant they liked butter. Buttercups are so vividly yellow that I have yet to discover a single person who doesn’t like butter… 🙂

  13. Pingback: Meadow Hay | Uphilldowndale

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