On a brief stroll though the northern end of Chatsworth Park this morning I was treated to a wonderful view of the deer. A lone Fallow Deer caught my attention first, wandering amongst the sheep. Then not far away I spotted a large herd of Red Deer.
This afternoon, I needed to find a short, easy, low-level walk with some added interest as an alternative to the Dovedale walk that I had planned for a coach party on Saturday. From the look of the amount of snow on the road down to the southern end of Dovedale at present, I decided it was unlikely that a coach would be able to get down there!
My solution? A walk from Ashbourne around part of the area that is used as the football pitch for the annual Shrovetide Football game. For those of you that haven’t heard of this local tradition, Shrovetide Football takes place annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. The football pitch is 3 miles long and 2 miles wide. It encompasses the whole of the town and surrounding countryside. The goals are in the river and are 3 miles apart. Lots of local people from the town play the game including men, women and children. The game lasts for 2 days. There are two teams, and it depends which side of the river you were born on as to whether you play for the Up-ards or the Down’ards.
If you would like to know more about Shrovetide Football, then take a look at the official website. Otherwise, simply enjoy the photos that I took on my walk today.
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.
This weekend was our last guided walk before Christmas and it turned out to me my favorite walk of the year so far!
We walked from Nether Booth in the Vale of Edale up onto the southern and eastern edges of Kinder Scout. Being the highest mountain in the Peak District, it was a bit colder up there than the surrounding hills and it appeared to be the only hill with a fine dusting of snow. Combined with blue sky and brilliant sunshine, this resulted in some stunning views!
Our next guided walk on Kinder Scout is on 17 March 2013 which might seem a long way ahead, but we are taking bookings now!
Details of our open group guided walks, including Kinder Scout can be found at http://www.peakwalking.com/day-walks/open-group-walks/
On our Stanage & Bamford Edges guided walk today we enjoyed some stunning views of Stanage Edge, Bamford Edge, and the surrounding hills and moorlands in the snow. I don’t think any of us expected to be walking in snow over Easter but we had a really enjoyable day.
Our Stanage & Bamford Edges walk is great without snow too! Why not give it a try? http://www.peakwalking.com/day-walks/open-group-walks/stanage-and-bamford-edges/
While many people have been grousing about the snow which has lingered for many weeks in the Peak District, last Sunday we were up on Derwent Edge watching the grouse make their way about in the snow! (Red Grouse to be precise)
There are estimated to be over 5,000 breading pairs of Red Grouse in the Peak District, so it is not unusual see see them on our moorland walks. The males can be instantly recognised by their distinctive red ‘eyebrows’.
It really was a great day to be out walking, with brilliant sunshine, fantastic views, but temperatures well below freezing.
Why not try our ‘Dramatic Derwent’ guided walk onto Derwent Edge yourself?