Here is the Aire Valley Wrap. I used to live on the banks of the Aire in Gargrave on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The river is relatively small and fast flowing there and I was lucky enough to see the odd kingfisher along the banks. We’ve since spent many days along the River Aire between Leeds and Castleford. It actually flows under Leeds Railway station and if you do venture down there, it’s really quite frightening roaring along and exiting at the south side of the station.
You can see the river meandering along to the right of the nature reserves in the image above. The lakes are filled in mine workings up to 600m (2,000 ft) deep with the mining spoil heaps surrounding them. It was the largest spoil heap in Europe at one time. Over 60 years ago the site was designated a reserve. In 2017 a pair of spoonbills successfully raised two chicks and there have been spoonbill nests there every year since. We can still visit as the trails are open and have been a couple of times at dusk to see some fabulous starling murmurations. It’s really cold standing around waiting and hoping that they will all turn up in their thousands and at times a lovely warm wrap or blanket would have been very welcome.
So when I finished this it seems an idea to call it after the bubbling, surging, meadering River Aire in all its manifestations as it travels along its valley. So here it is the Aire Valley Wrap. It is worked with 800g of Aran non super-wash merino and is deliciously warm. I’ll put this up for testing in the next week or so once I’ve had the all clear from the Tech editor.