A wonderful walk!

Eyam Moor Every year the Peak District Tourist Board organise a two week long walking festival in the Peak District and today was our first walk in the 2011 festival.   On a beautiful sunny day we walked from Hathersage, over the stepping stones over the river Derwent where we saw some newly hatched ducklings.  Then up onto Offerton Moor and Smelting Hill, with a wealth of spring flowers to see on the way, including at lower levels bluebells, wood anemones, celandine, and wild primroses.  As we got higher onto the moorland, the bilberries were in flower along with cowberries and of course gorse … Continue reading A wonderful walk!

Heather Burning

They have started burning the heather on the peakland moors.  It has been customary for centuries to burn small patches of heather during the early part of the year.  This started in the days when grouse shooting was important to the local economy.  To thrive, Red Grouse need a mixture of different heights of heather and low growing plants.  They nest in the older deep heather and feed on the new shoots of young heather.  As these birds never travel very far from their birth place, the buring of heather in small patches ensures that they always have the right mixture of … Continue reading Heather Burning

The high moorlands in July

After several days of rain, the high moorlands in the Peak District are looking beautiful.  The peat bogs which has been drying out are now wet and spongy again.  Ling heather is just starting to come into flower, and bilberry bushes are starting to bear fruit.  We have seen an unusually large number of young red grouse this week on Stanage Edge, Bamford Moor, and on Kinder Scout.  We have also seen several Golden Plover, known as the ‘watchmen of the moors’.     Continue reading The high moorlands in July

Ring Ouzels have arrived

We were lucky enough to see Ring Ouzels on our walk today on Derwent Edge.  These birds which look a bit like a blackbird with a white ring around the front of their neck, spend the winter in Spain or North Africa and migrate north each year in April to nest.  Their numbers have declined substantially over recent years and there are now believed to be only around 7,000 breeding pairs returning to the UK each year.  They favour rocky hillsides for their nesting grounds, and in the Peak District as we usually get a few nesting pairs on the … Continue reading Ring Ouzels have arrived