The Parish

The parish of Ainderby Steeple lies in the Vale of Mowbray in North Yorkshire bordered by the river Swale to the west and Wiske to the east. It consists of four settlements, Ainderby Steeple, Morton-on-Swale, Thrintoft and the hamlet of Warlaby.

The village of Ainderby itself is built on a ridge rising around 30ft above the surrounding country and its church tower is a familiar landmark in the area.


Evidence from Victorian floras and a Yorkshire Naturalist’s Union trip to Ainderby in the 1940s both indicate how good the habitat used to be with productive areas of marsh to both the north and south of the village.
Further south in the parish you can still see the remains of the embankments and sluices of the large scale management of the flood meadows which attracted flocks of wintering wildfowl.


Now most of the parish consists of intensively farmed land where you'd be forgiven for thinking Wood Pigeons and Crows were the only British birds! But there are areas of pasture and rough grazing, a couple of more traditional farms with excellent hedgerows and a nice stretch of river. Flooding periodically occurs but recent drainage works have reduced both its frequency and longevity.

One of the most productive areas is a neighbour’s superb garden which includes a large reed-fringed pond (the only standing water in the parish), a small area of damp woodland and a tiny remnant of the original fen.

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