Danes Dyke | Sewerby
Danes Dyke was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2002 in recognition of its wildlife value and its importance to the local community. Local Nature Reserves aim to protect places of special interest and provide opportunities for research, education and informal enjoyment. The reserve is part of one of the finest stretches of coastland on the east coast. This unique sea and cliff environment is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and its seabird colonies mark it as a Special Protection Area.
Danes Dyke Local Nature Reserve acquires its name from the ancient ditch and bank earthwork, which runs through the reserve. Danes Dyke runs for 4km across the whole of the Flamborough Headland, from the nature reserve here in the south to Cat Nab on the Bempton Cliffs in the north. It consists of two constructed features, a flat-topped bank and a west-facing ditch. The bank was constructed from earth, stacked turfs and chalk rubble, much of which would have come from the ditch. Undoubtedly constructed as a defensive feature, it would have posed a formidable barrier, topped with a wooden palisade fence. Although no exact date has been given to its construction, comparisons with other post Roman earthworks of a similar size have been made.
Walking in the woods is great all year round. Carpets of snowdrops appear early in the year at Danes Dyke. The yellow winter aconites give away more clues of the past; they were a favourite flower planted by the Victorians in the grand landscape around the house. As the year continues, vibrant bluebells appear on the woodland floor and listen out for the familiar call of the cuckoo to really know spring has arrived in the woods. Summer time isn’t only for heading to the beach! It’s great in the woods too, and the tall trees offer welcome shade. The woodland edges and paths around the fields are good place to spot butterflies.