Ilam Rock – An amazing limestone pinnacle

The limestone rock that forms parts of Dovedale is the fossilised remains of sea creatures that lived in a shallow, tropical lagoon about 350 million years ago. During the two ice ages, the limestone was cut into craggy shapes.  Dovedale is famous for its numerous limestone rock formations.  Ilam rock pictured here is one of the most spectacular, standing at about 25 metres high.  Others include Dovedale Castles, Tissington Spires, Reynard’s Cave, and Lion’s Head Rock. Ilam Rock can be seen on our ‘Dovedale Delights’ guided walk which is available throughout the year with a Personal Walking Guide Continue reading Ilam Rock – An amazing limestone pinnacle

The wonders of Lathkill Dale after heavy rain

Lathkill Dale is a very beautiful and fascinating place for many reasons.  Its geological history is outstanding.  It is home to an abundance of wild flowers.  What interested us the most however on our guided Nature Walk yesterday was the River Lathkill itself. The River Lathkill rises in different places throughout the year depening upon where the water table lies.  After prolonged periods of heavy rain, usually in the winter it flows gently out of a cave called Lathkill Head Cave which is towards the western end of the dale.  In recent years however the point where it has risen has tended to be much further to the … Continue reading The wonders of Lathkill Dale after heavy rain

Dew Ponds of the White Peak

Dew ponds are a familiar sight to anyone who walks regularly in the White Peak area of the Peak District.  They were originally formed to provide a water source to farm animals in areas where water was not present naturally.  It is believed that they took their name, not from the fact that they collected the dew, but from a Victorian pond maker called Mr Dew. During the 70s and early 80s it is possible that as many as 50% of our dew ponds were lost due to infills and neglect.  Dew ponds are important habitats for wildlife.  In particular the great … Continue reading Dew Ponds of the White Peak

High Tor, Matlock Bath

High Tor is a great limestone outcrop which towers almost 400 feet about the river Derwent between Matlock and Matlock Bath.  The limestone was formed about 325 – 350 million years ago when the area was at the bottom of a shallow tropical sea. Over millions of years, limey muds and the shells and skeletons of tiny sea creatures settled on the bottom and formed a thick layer of limestone.  Large areas of limestone such as High Tor have been pushed upwards by land movements and further shaped by glacial meltwaters at the end of the last ice age. You can walk up … Continue reading High Tor, Matlock Bath

Caves in the White Peak

On Friday whilst walking down beautiful Wolfscote Dale and Biggin Dale I couldn’t resist the temptation to explore some caves on the side of the valley that looked rather inviting. The White Peak, limestone area of the Peak District has numerous caves systems, many of which were carved out thousands of years ago by underground rivers forcing their way through, and eroding the soft limestone rock. The first that I explored was at the entrance to Wolfscote Dale.  It was a bit of a scramble to get into it.  The limestone at the entrance was polished to a smooth sheen from the hands and feet … Continue reading Caves in the White Peak

Spring Flowers in Deepdale

Yesterday was our first ‘Spring Flowers’ walk of the year and what a treat we had in Deepdale and Great Shacklow Wood! Deepdale is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the rich variety of flora that thrive in its limestone soils.  It is owned and managed by the charity Plantlife International.  There are said to be over a million Cowslips in the dale.  We didn’t count them yesterday!  Having seen the carpet of delicate yellow flowers up the side of the valley though, I can well believe it. Early Purple Orchids were also out, and other pretty … Continue reading Spring Flowers in Deepdale