How Green is our Moorland….


Derbyshire countryside from Stanton Moor Edge

This year has just been fabulous for all things green.  Growth is prolific…. not just rapid, growth in height but so rich and full.  Even high on the moors that trend continues.  Foxgloves are abundant and the Ferns and Bracken a lush vibrant green.


Often the Nine Ladies Stone Circle is a tranquil spot, but on a hot sunny day it was a magnet for family picknics.

Apart from the Stone Circle there are some distinctive but natural sandstone outcrops to discover.  The Cat Stone (some say Cats Torr) is just one. There was a time when I could stand in the spot below and see a wide expanse of Derbyshire in the valley beyond the Cat Stone.  Now the stunted Oak trees hide the view and very nearly hide the stone.  The Oak trees may be stunted but still sport a very full head of leaf…


Part of Stanton Moor is covered by Silver Birch.  They may look frail trees but seem to thrive in what at times is a hostile environment for any tree. The Birch coppices are dark but also rather enticing to explore…silent but for the occasional bird call but mainly the buzz of insects high in the canopy…


The open moorland is clad in Bilberry and Heather.  In about 6 to 8 weeks the moor will be rich in a covering of fragrant purple Heather.  At the moment the flower buds have just formed and are now slowly swelling.  As a for taste of what is to come there are just one or two clumps of another heathland shrub… not dissimilar to the traditional heather in colour but different in structure.  Known (I think ) as Cross Leafed Heath it carries it flower bells atop a thin stalk…. this patch of purple bells is fighting it way through the heather.


9th July

(C) David Oakes 2019



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