Chunal Moor is a beautiful area of high, heather covered moorland in the Dark Peak with paths leading onto it from two points on the A624 between Hayfield and Glossop, and from Mill Hill. Upon studying the Ordnance Survey map, you will see the highest point on the moor is named Harry Hut.
So who was Harry and where is his hut? Well, it appears that no-one knows! There is certainly no hut there now, but there are a few loose rocks around the trig point, so maybe Harry did build some kind of shelter there many years ago. What do you think?
It’s certainly a beautiful place and the paths tend to be quieter than those on nearby Kinder Scout and the Pennine Way.
Holme Moss is an area of moorland on the side of Black Hill in the Peak District. The moor is crossed by the A6024 road between Holmfirth and Longendale, whose highest point is near the prominent Holme Moss transmitter that can be seen from miles around.
To British cycling enthusiasts, the A6024 ascent of Holme Moss from the village of Home has become one of England’s best known bicycle ascents, and has acquired a reputation as among the country’s more difficult climbs. On 6 July 2014 a certain world famous cycle race will climb this hill. It is anticipated that around 60,000 people could make their way to Holme Moss to see this section of the race and millions world-wide will probably be watching on TV.
The hills and moorland surrounding Holme Moss are also fabulous walking country. Black Hill is the third highest hill in the Peak District and nearby Bleaklow is the second highest hill. Both offer the hiker the opportunity to experience a wonderful wild and remote moorland environment. However, navigation can be tricky especially if the cloud unexpectedly descends, reducing viability.
At Peak Walking Adventures we are for the first time offering guided walks during August 2014 in the Holme Moss area:
Yesterday our half day guided walk passed along Burbage Edge – one of the high gritstone edges that the Dark Peak area is famous for. The views are stunning and it is a great walk, but years ago it was once the site of several small quarries producing millstones and occasionally other stone objects such as drinking troughs.
This magnificent trough can be found on the path that leads down from Burbage Edge towards the A6187. Due to its size I can quite easily imagine that it might have been destined to be a horse drinking trough at a coaching inn, or maybe in a town centre. It is quite easy to see why it was abandoned before the stone masons had finished it, as there is a massive crack right across it.
It is interesting as being unfinished, you can see the process that was used to produce these stone troughs. The stone was first crafted into a huge rectangle, then a channel was chiseled out inside leaving a stone ‘island’ than would eventually be hacked out leaving the perfect trough.
This weekend, Ling Heather has been just about at its best on the Peak District moors. It is the most common of 3 types of heather that grows in the Peak District. As well as looking beautiful when in flower, it also provides much needed cover for ground nesting birds in the spring.
I am told that a type of tea can be made from its flowering stems and that mead was once flavoured by its flowers.
These photos were taken this afternoon on Derwent Edge, showing a close up of the Ling Heather flowers and the ‘purple carpet’ effect on the moorlands. Ladybowever reservoir is in the background.
Cotton Grass is looking beautiful on the Peak District moolands at present!
There are actually two types of Cotton Grass. Common Cotton Grass which often has two flower spikes on each stem, and Hare’s Tail Cotton Grass which grows in tussocks and only ever has one flower spike per stem.
The two pictures below were taken on the moorland just below White Edge last week and are fine examples of Hare’s Tail Cotton Grass. The guided walk was arranged with a personal walking guide for the day.
Despite its name, it actually isn’t possible to produce cotton from the plant because the hairs are to brittle and can’t be twisted.
Quite a common site on the high moorlands of the Dark Peak, but maybe not everyone knows what they are?
These are commonly known Devil’s Matchsticks. Like all lichens, the Devil’s matchstick is actually two organisms working together: a fungus and an algae in a symbiotic relationship. The red tips are the fruiting bodies of the fungal component of the lichen. Have a look for them next time you are walking across the Peak District’s peat covered moorlands.
This morning as a change from guiding walks, I went out onto Wessenden Moor with Megan and Bryan from the Moors for the Future Partnership to look at some of their forthcoming work.
The aim of their project is to restore the moorland to its former natural beauty by re-vegetating large bare areas of peat. This will provide many benefits, including stopping huge amounts of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere as the peat erodes, and improving the quality of the water that runs into Yorkshire Water’s reservoirs.
Peat erodes much more quickly when it dries out, so in addition to re-seeding the area, Megan explained to me that she will be identifying suitable points in the peat gullies to be blocked off. This will stop rain from running off the moor so quickly, retaining the water in the peat.
There was too much snow on the ground to enable any work to be done this morning, but lots to do before the start of the nesting season when work will be halted so that ground nesting birds aren’t disturbed.