On Stanage Edge

A Poem by Tideswellman. Feb 2015

On Stanage Edge, a great brown sea of Heather and Gorse, the moor, rushes up to Stanage Edge and stumbles over the many heads of the rock face.

The many heads of Stanage Edge

The earnest facade of timeless rock shines out her many colours, standing proud in the cold light of winter, ripe with the shape nature has provided.

Stanage Edge Colours

The wind whistles and whips round, and when she wants to be, is as warm as a country girl, who flirting, tickling here and there, planting warm breathy kisses upon the nape of your neck. Yet when her mood changes, she can be a wild and icy harridan, who could kill a man without pause for reflection, as she screams between the boulders.

Stanage Edge Boulders

Clouds, never far away, hang in the air, waiting to swoop and shroud the rocks in silky mist, forever changing, and rearranging the feel of the landscape.

Low Cloud on Stanage Edge

Here and there, Rusty brooks bring forth the life blood of the moor, Water, a murderous colour stained red with Peat. Like a gentle, liquid knife it slowly cuts through the moor and rock alike.

Stanage Brook

As ramblers struggle over boulders squelch in bright black mud, a Jurassic sound stalks them, the Grouse laugh like naughty children as they play hide and seek with worried, wary walkers. stopping, peering as they try to pinpoint the sound.
Walkers on Stanage Edge

Cuts and crags, nooks and caves call to people curious to know the moor, to try her, to own her, yet the scale of this fortress of wilderness swallows and humbles both man and beast, man cannot own this, nor digest this visual feast.

Nooks and Cranies stanage-gapRobin Hoods Cave - Stanage Edge

Climbers on StanageWith senses overwhelmed a spell is cast that compels the moorland guest to return for pilgrimages uncounted.

Stanage Edge will make you return again and again

If You Like this Post, Why not Link to it. With this code

On Stanage Edge by Tideswellman

————
Browse more of my Photos.

Ludds Church Walk

On occasion my friend and I manage to co-ordinate our busy lives for long enough to get out into the Peak District countryside.

A few weeks ago we had planned to go over to The Roaches, The day arrived and of course, typically, it was pouring with rain. We decided to brave the elements and head out anyway, and I was so pleased that we did.

Hen Cloud and the Roaches

Wirksworth to the Roaches

Drive from Wirksworth to the Roaches  (Click Link for Map)

We drove from Wirksworth, turned onto Via Gellia, and up to Newhaven, turning there and driving down to the Monyash/Crowdetcote turning.   From there, we went through to Longnor and then right across the moorland to Emerge on the A53 near The Winking Man Pub.

From Longnor to the Roaches

From Longnor to the Roaches (Click Link for Map)

We turned left towards Leek, driving past the Ramshaw Rocks and the famous “Winking Man Rock”, (so called because the rock, which looks like a giant face that appears to wink at you when you drive past it.  After half a mile or so we turned right at the sign for Upper Hulme.

Turn off towards Upper hulme

For Upper Hulme  – turn right

Follow the road past the pub, down the hill and take a sharp right. In the dip there are a few houses a small waterfall and some industrial units.  Go past these and you’ll drive under the imposing outcrop of Hen Cloud.

Hen Cloud

Hen Cloud – It doesn’t really look like a Hen.

The Roaches

Path to the Roaches

A bit further on you’ll find some parking spaces and you can begin your walk.
We strolled though the mist, chatting away.

Staffordshire / Cheshire Borders

Staffordshire / Cheshire Borders

It’s good to just get out amongst the nature and walk. We could have driven a couple of miles up the road but would have missed, Buzzards, Kestrels, Horses, a young but sadly dead badger, a squashed Frog and a handsome Toad.

Juvenile Badger

Juvenile Badger – Not a mark on it.

As we walked on, we neared the woods leading down to Ludds Church.

Ludds Church - woods

Woods containing Ludds Church

The photo looks almost flat but the descent into the woods was hard on my knees. We walked down and down and the rain eased up. This walk was fun, but there was a lot of mud, we had to carefully pick our way though a very muddy waterlogged wood, all the paths were thick with deep mud, so a little creative weaving through the Silver Birch trees was needed. Normally though, “stay on the path, kids”.

Misty, muddy Woods

Misty, muddy Woods

Eventually we arrived at our destination. For those who don’t know what Ludds Church is, It’s a bloomin big chasm in the ground, you could easily miss it if you didn’t know it was there. Once you enter it, it’s a totally breathtaking micro-climate, like a little rocky gorge in a rainforest.

Ludds Church  – Click for slideshow

Ludds Church is a real hidden gem and somewhere that I’d recommend anyoneto visit. I’m annoyed at myself for not having been before.

The Green Man

A little blurry but do you see the Green Man?

IMG_7636 IMG_7639 IMG_7645 IMG_7651 On the way back to the car our nature trail continued. There were contorted trees, with wonderful branch formations. My guess is that they must have been mauled by extreme weather and then healed, leaving truly creepily formed branches.IMG_7660Then there were ancient Beech trees with exposed roots, again looking as though they had seen a changing environment and adapted to it.IMG_7950

 

 

Staffordshire Moorlands

Daws looking out over the Staffordshire countryside

On the way, back we were lucky enough to find this handsome looking toad, who was kind enough to pose for photos.

IMG_7664

IMG_7666

We were treated to arial displays from a Buzzard and a Kestrel.

Buzzard with vole

Buzzard with vole

Hovering Kestrel

Hovering Kestrel

Meanwhile, the sheep looked on.

Mooland Sheep

Moorland Sheep

please leave a comment

If you liked this blog, please consider leaving a comment. Perhaps I missed something, or maybe you have a question, let me know.