Followers will know of my love of Silver Birch. This stand of Birch on the heights and open windswept expanse of Stanton Moor were most definitely one of my favourites. Sadly when we visited a week ago, the Birch were gone. In the early spring, it lost one of its multi trunks in those storms that past swiftly across the moor. The remaining trunks failed to stand the pressures of the September gales.
No longer will this iconic landmark grace the horizon of the Moor.
Blue sky and sunshine, so todays destination for a leg stretch was Stanton Moor. Indeed, a bright start as we headed up through the wooded slopes. Sadly, it wasn’t to last. As we broke out onto the Moor the skies closed in and we said goodbye to the sun.
For a short while it was just overcast, a muted glow under the Oak woodland.
Not long after, the rains swept in. Rain that looked as if it was settled for the rest of the day.
You have to feel a little sorry for the Sheep that graze these moors….. out all weathers with only a woolly coat for protection.
3 weeks ago, we were here at the Cork Stone. Shorts and Tea shirts was the order of dress. Not today, the waterproofs essential….. Buster was far from impressed.
It may well have turned out more than a little wet, but it was still an invigorating walk, refreshing. Upon reflection….. if it hadn’t been sunny first thing. we more than likely wouldn’t have headed up to the Moor….. and despite getting rather wet we would have missed a great moorland walk.
The title for this morning’s post was “Morning Calm”…. it was from the archives. Trouble is, it certainly didn’t fit with the morning’s weather. More than a little breezy, a wind, not quite gale force, but you get the idea.
Despite that we headed off to Stanton Moor for a leg stretch with great views over Derbyshire. The moor is surrounded by trees. Oak and Silver Birch are the key feature which creates a great approach to the more open moor.
Not many signs of autumn, the trees still look green even though some are a little thinner in the canopy. Round the moor edge Fungi were making a colourful autumnal statement of their own….
Of course, as we always do, we paid our respects to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. Not another soul about so we could savour the mood and moment… it may not be as big as the famous Stone Henge but it’s just as special…
As the wind was getting stronger (and colder) we didn’t linger long and headed back to shelter and lower ground. Just enjoyed the expansive views from high then made haste.
Fresh and invigorating… but nice to get back to the car and a flask of hot coffee…. and the sun shone throughout so that was a indeed a bonus. 🙂
20th August and we woke to sunshine and blue skies….. what a change from the past weeks or so. Days of low damp mist at best or heavy rain and thunder at worst. August is approaching its end, so if we wanted to enjoy the late summer Heather on the moor, we had best take advantage of the day on offer.
Many of you will recall that Stanton Moor is a favourite location, not too far away, yet providing the wide open moorland vistas and feeling of remoteness we enjoy.
Mid to late August is Heather time on the moors. 5 weeks ago when last here it was just the bracken giving the colour, whilst the heather was still brown, looking less like flowering than a dead twig. But what a difference.
Head up through the Oak woods that surround the Moor, climb a sandy path and wow the purple Heather is a joy to see…
Hiding (well sort of) in the middle of the Moor is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. Surrounded by a plantation of Silver Birch it is a magical place. As always we just had to pay our respects. Luckily we had the Circle to ourselves, so time to stand and allow ones mind to refresh…. it always works like magic….
So after a respectful pause, it was off , back through the Birch Woods, now rustling in a breeze that was starting to stretch its muscles, may be another change in the weather was on the way.
On the slopes that surround the Moor, the weather has obviously had an drastic effect for the local farmer. Rains have stopped his ability to bail up the field, that he had started to harvest. The adjoining field was flattened by yesterdays torrential rains…will it recover enough to harvest, I guess it depends of the next few days and the hope of some calmer weather…
The Tale of The Cork Stone….
No, Jean is certainly not going to climb the Cork Stone. Many folk have and many more will no doubt do so again. The local folk legend is that Lads from the villages of Birchover and Stanton would climb to the top, declare their undying love for a local lassie they were wooing, then jump from the top. If they landed safely it was a sign that the lad was worth keeping. If he broke a leg, arm or worse, then the lassie could walk away and leave him to his fate.
Nowadays, not many who climb the stone actually jump…obviously none believers or just cautious!
A great August morning, If we don’t get back in the next couple of weeks, at least we have seen the Heather for this season. Mind you autumn will be here and that changes the Moors appearance once again..
But for today…some more memories courtesy of the Nine Ladies