The disused rail route between Scarborough and Whitby, known to many simply as ‘The Old Railway Line’ is 21.5 miles long and runs parallel to the Yorkshire Coast, frequently in sight of the sea. Others know it as ‘The Cinder Track’, a name coined to promote the route as a traffic-free trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The entire route is owned by Scarborough Borough Council, although a magnificent 13-arch brick viaduct at Larpool, carrying the line 120 ft high over the Esk, was sold to sustainable transport charity Sustrans for a nominal sum when the route first became part of the National Cycle Network.
Recently an old botanical survey report dating from 1996 came to light in a dusty workshop at Scarborough Borough Council’s Parks depot. The original report, now scanned electronically into a series of pdfs was authored by a botanist by the name of Ken Trewen and includes details of plant species, including grasses and ferns along mapped stretches of the line. Access the report here.