Friday, 14 December 2012

Sheffield Moors Partnership Update

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Sheffield Moors consultation which is now closed.

We have had a fantastic response to the consultation on the draft masterplan, and have talked to nearly 700 people out and about in the landscape, as well as receiving plenty of formal responses from the public and interested organisations like the Ramblers, Ride Sheffield, Sheffield Bird Study Group, Friends of the Peak District and many other organisations and interested parties

We are currently studying the comments and looking at how they will influence changes to the final document. More information on this will be provided in the New Year through the website

It is hoped to finalise the strategy early in 2013, and public events to celebrate the launch of the completed strategy are planned for early Spring 2013.

Thanks again for taking part and sharing your views http://www.sheffieldmoors.co.uk/


Friday, 7 December 2012

Happy Birthday Kinder 12/12/12

National Icon Celebrates 30 Years with the National Trust

On 12 December 2012, it will be 30 years to the day that the National Trust took ownership of Kinder Scout.


Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District, is loved by locals and visitors alike and attracts over 100,000 people a year. It is perhaps best known as the site of the Mass Trespass in 1932 but it is also an area of huge importance for wildlife as a National Nature Reserve. 
 
The Kinder Plateau is characterised by large expanses of blanket bog (peat bog) but over the years this has been severely eroded by a mixture of air pollution, wild fires and other factors.

Since 1982 the Trust has undertaken a huge amount of conservation to reverse the effects of this damage. This has included collaborations with universities and other organisations to research and develop conservation techniques; investments have been made in specialised fire fighting equipment; and Trust rangers and estate teams have skilfully tackled problems such as moorland path erosion, fixed miles of drystone walls flanking Kinder as well as developing over 20 new woodlands through planting native broad leave trees.

Currently the Trust, supported by United Utilities and Natural England, is two-years into a five year, £2.5 million project to restore this iconic landscape.

Over 70 hectares (approx. 172 acres) of bare peat is being restored, using a range of techniques, including heather spreading, the planting of over 500,000 cotton grass plants and increasing sphagnum moss coverage by over 100%. Gully- blocking is also an essential part of this work. This slows the flow of water off the plateau when it rains and helps keep peat where it should be, on the top. This also improves the quality of water flowing into the reservoirs, helping reduce the need for increasing treatment.

A temporary 15 kilometre (9 mile) fence has been erected, with regular visitor access points, around the plateau to keep the area free from grazing animals and allow the newly planted vegetation the opportunity to get established, while maintaining open access to Kinder Scout for walkers and other visitors.

The nature of peat bog means it is capable of storing huge amounts of carbon. When these habitats are healthy, and peat is actively forming, they continue to increase the amount of carbon they store, so as well as being rare and threatened habitats, vitally important for a wealth of wildlife, peat bogs also have an important role to play in helping to combat climate change.

“Kinder is a truly special place,” comments Tom Harman, Kinder Catchment Project Officer. “It played a major part in how we access open country in England and its wild and awe-inspiring scenery has influenced generations, and continues to do so.

The work of the Trust, both now and over the last 30 years, has prevented the loss of something incredibly important to both our heritage and future.”

If you’d like to find out more about the project as it progresses please visit www.kinder-scout.co.uk

Monday, 12 November 2012

Christmas Tree Sales at Ilam

National Trust christmas tree sales start on the 1st December at the Ilam caravan site which is located in the main National Trust car park.
Head towards DE6 2AZ then follow the christmas tree signs or signs for Ilam Hall and country park
Tree are on sale for the first three weekends in December, 10:00am - 4:00pm

We have a selection of premium grade cut trees with sizes from 5 ft - 8 ft.

Tree types are:

  • Nordmann Fir
  • Fraser Fir
  • Lodgepole Pine 

Also available are tree stands, seasoned hardwood logs and "log candles".

All our trees and stands are sold at competitive prices and all profits go towards essential Peak
District conservation work.
Call in and see us!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Christmas Tree Sales at Longshaw

National Trust christmas tree sales start from 24th November from the main Longshaw car park. Head towards S11 7TZ then follow the brown signs which will lead you straight to the car park.
 
We have a selection of premium grade trees of all sizes from 2 ft - 15 ft.
 
We have cut trees, potted trees and rooted trees where you can dig your own.
 
Tree types are:
 
  • Nordmann Fir
  • Fraser Fir
  • Blue Spruce
  • Lodgepole Pine
  • Norway Spruce
 
All our trees and stands are sold at competitive prices and all profits go towards essential Peak District conservation work.
 
Call in and see us!
 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Coming up in the Peak District

Here’s a summary of events and activities coming up over the next couple of months.  For events marked B booking is required – call 01433 670368 or email peakdistrict@nationaltrust.org.uk with booking enquiries.

Halloween Family Trails     
Longshaw
Until 4 Nov, 10.30am - 3.30pm
Ilam Park
Until 4 Nov, 11am - 4pm
Pick up a trail sheet from the shop and spot the spooky signs as you find your way around the haunted grounds of Ilam Park and Longshaw. 50p/ trail

Drop in Conservation Day - Rhododendron Clearing
Longshaw
Sat 3 & Wed 14 Nov, 10am – 3pm
Meet at the Visitor Centre at 10am, or follow the signs from the Visitor Centre to the site throughout the day. Wear outdoor clothing and stout boots and bring gardening gloves if you have them, and a packed lunch if you like.

Science in the Park
Sat 3 Nov: Moorland Discovery Centre, Longshaw Estate, S11 7TZ – 10.30am - 4pm

Sat 10 Nov: Bakewell Town Hall, DE45 1BT - 10.30am - 4pm
Science is happening all across the Peak District National Park so come and take a scientific adventure at two FREE family events. Fun, hands on activities for children and adults alike, (outside if the weather is good), or quiz the experts on their field of expertise.  Free refreshments.
Displays include:
Uncovering 2,000 year old skeletons
Radio monitoring Northern Hairy Wood Ants
Conserving rare crayfish and adders
Monitoring the landslide on Mam Tor (The shivering Mountain)
Tackling climate change and Moorland restoration
Take part in:
Bug Hunting
The Hairy Wood Ant Trail
Some social or scientific investigations

Orienteering - Come and Try It
Ilam Park
Sat 10 Nov, 10.30am - 12.30pm
Orienteering is an adventure sport for the whole family using a detailed map to navigate a course. Come and try it, with Derwent Valley Orienteers. Adult £3, child £1.50

Remembering the War Years
Longshaw Estate
Wed 21 Nov, 2pm - 4pm
Longshaw Lodge was home to many wounded soldiers during the First World War. Our local history expert shares her research and the memorabilia from this time, followed by a delicious cream tea. £7 B

Christmas Wreath-making Workshop
Ilam Park
Sat 17 Nov, 10.30am - 3.30pm
Make a wreath with our expert. Some equipment provided, but please bring your own secateurs and any special decorations/ foliage. £20 B

Christmas Tree Sales at Longshaw
Sat 24 Nov - Fri 21 Dec,
Daily, 10am - 4pm
Buy your tree from us and support our conservation work.  Sustainably sourced British trees of different sizes and non-needle drop varieties.
Late Night Christmas Tree Sales
Wed 12 Dec, open until 8pm – Christmas crafts from 4pm – 6pm, & carol singing at 6pm, and refreshments on sale in the Moorland Discovery Centre.

Christmas Tree Sales at Ilam Park
Weekends of 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16 December. 
10am – 4pm
Buy your tree from us and support our conservation work.  Sustainably sourced British trees of different sizes and non-needle drop varieties.

Ilam Christmas Festival
Ilam Park
Sat 8 - Sun 9 Dec, 11am - 4.30pm
Meet Santa and his helpers and join in the festivities at Ilam this Christmas.
Festive music, food, fun activities for all the family and a chance to do some Christmas shopping. Buy your sustainably sourced Christmas tree from us and support our work in the Peak District. Delicious teas in the Manifold Tea-room. £2 activities

Magical Christmas Crafts Weekend
Longshaw Estate
Sat 8 - Sun 9 Dec, Sat 15 - Sun 16 Dec, 10am - 4pm
Get into the festive spirit at the Moorland Discovery Centre, with fun and simple natural & recycled decorations to make. Christmas shopping, festive music and meals in the tea-room. £2 activities.

Christmas Tree Sales
Castleton
Sat 8 - Sun 9 Dec, 11am - 3pm
Buy your tree from us and support our conservation work in the Peak District.

Walking routes are available from Ilam Park and Longshaw shops during opening times, and geocaching trails are available all year round.  For more information about our places, visit:

Friday, 5 October 2012

Great British Walking Festival

I’ve been doing a lot of walking on Kinder Scout recently. When I’m not volunteering for the National Trust I work as a Conservation Works Officer for the Moors for the Future Partnership. They, as well as the National Trust, carry out restoration work on the blanket bogs and heather moorlands of the Peak District.

Some of the footpaths on Kinder Scout have been badly eroded leading walkers to veer off the path, damaging the nearby vegetation and widening the muddy scars still further. Lately we’ve been busy repairing the footpaths on Trust land on the hill and it’s my job to liaise with the contractors and check their work. The work near Grindslow Knoll has now been completed, which will help walkers cross difficult patches while preserving the adjacent vegetation.

We’re just starting work at Crowden Tower, Ringing Roger and The Nab and I’m really looking forward to re-visiting these sites and observing the progress made. Come and see for yourself (but please be careful while the works are in progress – the staff on site will guide you past any difficulties).

Starting from Edale, you could follow this fine National Trust walk which will take you up the valley and back along the high edges past  Crowden Tower:

Alternatively, Moors for the Future offer an excellent audio trail which takes you from Edale to The Nab:

Listening to this as you walk along the new footpath will help you to appreciate just how lucky we walkers are today!

Steve Maynard

For more information on the National Trust's Walks: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/activities/walking/

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Tour of Britain Passes Through The White Peak...

...and members of the NT Peak District team were on hand to give the riders a welcome as they cut through the middle of the Dovedale Property!

Stage two of the race took in several climbs, one of which was the Cat1 climb from Lode Mill to Alstonefield, after 51km, and it was here that the race passed through part of our Estate.

The video below was taken from opposite the top of Lode Plantation and shows the main group heading up the hill towards Alstonefield.  If you have trouble spotting Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the pack, have a look at the pictures below and see if you can spot them there!


Before the climb the riders followed a fast descent down Pinch Bank, an area of NT land with steep grassland on one side and steep woodland on the other; a neat snap-shot of the two major elements of the Dovedale Property!  Crossing the River Dove at the bottom of the valley just north of Milldale, the riders also passed from Derbyshire into Staffordshire.  The river is the County Boundary and, as such, Dovedale is virtually split in half between the two counties.  The climb to Alstonefield up Lode Lane passes Lode Plantation, another piece of steep woodland in the Trust's care.  At the top of Lode Plantation, in a small roadside field, we put up our flutter flags to show our support and welcome the riders.  We also placed banners here and at the top of Pinch Bank to remind spectators of The Hidden Peak Sportive which we are hosting on Sunday October 14th, starting at our Ilam Park Property.  If all the cycling throughout this summer of sport has got you motivated, why not enter and have a go yourself? The Hidden Peak has three routes - 37k, 63k and 130k - so whatever your ability, there's a route to suit.  And, what's more, you'll get to see some of the stunning, less explored areas of the White Peak Area of the Peak District. Find details at www.votwo.co.uk/events-1/hidden-peak-sportive



Another great day in the Peak District! Afterwards, the team posed for the photograph below:

'Team NT' out there on the day: Rangers, Anna & Simon; Head Ranger, Jim; Events Manager, Jenny; Administrator and cycling fanatic, Pat.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Ant research at Longshaw

Hairy wood ant behaviour will be tracked by tiny radio receivers in a pioneering scientific study at our Longshaw Estate.

Researchers from the University of York are fitting one thousand northern hairy wood ants with tiny radio receivers in a world first experiment to find out how they communicate and travel between their complex nests.
The three-year research project will take place on the National Trust's Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire a hotspot for these internationally protected ants. This unique site contains more than a thousand nests and is home to up to 50 million worker ants.
Experts will carefully catch the ants and in a few seconds attach a radio receiver of one millimetre to each one. The ants are the size of an adult thumbnail but this process will not interfere with, nor harm them in any way.
Researchers will examine how the ants communicate with each other in their colonies, which are housed in several nests connected by a network of ant highways, with multiple ant queens spread between the nests.
The findings from the research will then be used by our staff on the Longshaw estate to manage the ancient woodland, made up of oak and birch trees, where the ants can be found.

Radio receivers will help researchers find out how ants communicate and travel
Radio receivers will help researchers find out how ants
communicate and travel / ChangingViews Ltd

Samuel Ellis, the biologist from the University of York, who will be carrying out the research, said: "This research is about trying to find out how the ants communicate and commute between the vast network of nests and how they travel in this environment.
"The radio receivers act like a barcode to mark out each individual ant. A single ant is not particularly clever but is part of an elaborate system that is clearly performing very effectively at Longshaw.
"The way the ants use this network has important implications for how they interact with their environment. And the way information is passed through the network may even have implications for our information and telecommunications networks."

Findings will also influence the land management of Longshaw as the ants depend on sap-sucking aphids that favour oak, birch and pine trees but northern hairy wood ant populations struggle in dense woodland of this kind.
The ants use the honeydew produced by gently stroking these aphids to feed their young and in return the ants protect the aphids.

Chris Millner, Area Ranger at Longshaw, said: "It is fascinating to sit and watch the ants as they go about their business and they are easy to spot on a sunny day as they gather in vast numbers around their nests at this very special site.
"We will be carrying out some forestry work over the next few years, removing lots of conifer trees from modern plantations which will create a larger area of wood pasture, ideal for the ants to move into.
"The study will give us a real picture of where the ants are and how we can improve the habitat for them and other wildlife without causing disturbance."
The northern hairy wood ant has an international near-threatened conservation status with the two main populations in England found in the Peak District (including Longshaw) and in the North York Moors.

Watch the video on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OIwS0EBiDI 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wallers of the future?

Lots of children stopped by and tried out dry stone walling on the National Trust stand at the 2012 Manifold show. 

Miniature hard hats, hi-viz jackets and goggles were all available for the kids to dress up in, they really looked the part. Our resident drystone walling expert volunteer Fred was on hand to give them a helping hand
Also on the stand was John Blake, demonstrating traditional turning on his pole lathe, which was popular with kids of all ages.

Lynda our recruiter was on hand to offer help and got lots of interest from families for our “50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾” campaign.  She even managed to get a mini orchestra going using grass trumpets (number 25 in the list of 50)

The Manifold show is in its 33rd year and seems to be growing more popular each year.  The show is sited very near to our White peak base in Ilam and is only a short distance from the large areas of land we manage in the Manifold valley and Dovedale.
 
Malcolm and Mark - White Peak Rangers

Monday, 23 July 2012

Fencing at Ilam

The Estate Team travelled down from our normal work area of the mountainous Dark Peak, to the more gentle rolling countryside of our White Peak friends; driving through picturesque rolling limestone grasslands and scenic wooded valleys.


Before

Our task was to take down a parkland metal fence situated in Ilam Park and move it to a new location alongside the river Manifold, the fence was situated along the footpath called paradise walk, aptly named as it takes you through the bottom end of the beautiful Manifold Valley.

About 20 metres upstream from the boil holes which cause a constant relaxing gurgling and slurping as the water bubbles up from its underground lair. The sound of water moving is so therapeutic and calming, added to by the gentle fall of summer raindrops onto the surface of the river adding a another musical accompaniment to an already idyllic place.

The triangular area of grass enclosed within the fence was adjacent to the ha ha wall, situated at the end of target meadow; so named because it was the site of a shooting range and also used for archery which is now gently grazed by contented sheep.


During

The reason the National Trust wanted to change the fence line was to open up the vista as people walked along the path and to restore the 19th century scene. This was also the reason the ha ha wall was built, so only nature’s artistry is visible.

The team first had the difficult task of taking out the cemented posts from the original site.
The 6 metre rods were held in place by allen key grub screws which were removed and then the rods slid out and were placed carefully on the ground to be re-used later on. The posts were removed using 6 foot bars which are used to break up the concrete, before pulling them out. When the full length of fencing had been taken down the pieces were carried across to the bank of the river.

The team then had to dig new holes every metre along the fence line. The supporting posts through which the 6 metre rods were secured then had to be set in concrete. Concrete was used so that the posts were secure and anyone leaning or climbing on the rods would otherwise end up in the river. Each post had to be set in perfect alignment and at the same height or else the rods would not slide through the holes. Getting each post level and set was very time consuming.


After

The rods were then slid through the holes on the posts and tightened in place. The hole around the support posts was filled in by soil and grass turfs to hide the concrete because of the new position of the fence. Extra materials were needed and the new sections we installed were galvanised but not painted so the silver rods shimmer in the sun but will be painted black in the coming weeks.

The open grass space can also now be accessed by the public and gives additional picnic space for visitors to this wonderful place.

Also, thank you to HF Holidays local committee who gave us a grant to purchase the new fencing and made it all possible.

Steven Lindop
Estate Team Supervisor

Monday, 9 July 2012

Murder in Winnats Pass

Would you like to hear about the ill-fated lives of lovers Alan and Clara at Winnat's Pass in Castleton? Join us for a spooky walk and hear all about the murder on 21 August at 7pm. Call 01433 670368 for more info and to book

Kitchen Garden Open Day at Longshaw

The Kitchen Garden volunteers at the Longshaw Estate are opening the garden up for an afternoon of hands-on family activities, on Thursday 26th July from 12.00 to 4.00 pm.

Visitors of all ages are welcome to come and explore the garden, join in some fun hands-on activities, such as making bird feeders and vegetable heads, sowing seeds or having a go at the garden quiz. There will be plenty for everyone to do, and the event is a drop-in event with activities costing just £2.

Longshaw’s Kitchen Garden was set up as a project run by a team of volunteers, and has grown in abundance, producing fantastic crops of healthy and tasty fruit and vegetables. Lots of the seasonal produce is served in the Longshaw Visitor Centre as a part of the daily menu, and this year visitors to the event will also be able to enjoy a special dish on the day. Plants grown at Longshaw will also be on sale.

The Kitchen Garden Open Day gives people a chance to have a look at how fruit and vegetables grow, and may inspire people to grow their own food at home or on an allotment. The friendly team of volunteers have lined up an excellent range of activities so why not come to Longshaw and pop in to the kitchen garden to see what’s on offer?

The Kitchen Garden Open Day is on Thursday 26th July from 12.00 to 4.00pm, and is a drop-in event. The Kitchen Garden is just behind the Longshaw Visitor Centre. It costs just £2 to take part in all of the activities, and is free just to have a look around. For more information please contact the National Trust in the Peak District on peakdistrict@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Jenny Gerrans
Community & Learning Officer

Friday, 29 June 2012

Vegetation

The National Trust have been involved in restoring the damaged moorlands of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow for over 30 years. The internationally recognised habitats are home to many unusual plant species and we are beginning to discover many more. In the last few years plants which have not been seen before are beginning to colonise the restored areas. These plants include the following:
  • Labrador Tea
  • Fir Club Moss
  • Alpine Club Moss
  • Royal Fern
We are also seeing an increase in Sphagnum Mosses which play a vital role in formation and maintenance of the peat bogs and along with the other species suggest an improvement in general environmental conditions.

Shane Bates
Area Ranger, Kinder/Edale


Goodbye to our new volunteers, for now....

We recently said goodbye to our latest volunteers, some lovely ponies that are helping with our conservation management at Alsop Moor. 


The plantation hides a rare Limestone Heath in its midst which would revert to woodland if left to its own devices.

The ponies which have called Alsop Moor home for a few months have been busy eating tree seedlings, brambles and grasses which can all get out of control and smother the rarer heathland plants like heather and bilberry.

Look at the difference they have made to this area that is usualy overgrown with brambles and willowherbs

The ponies have now left the area so that the bilberry and heather can flower and set seed, but we hope to see them again next year.

Mark Cunningham, Ranger

Sunday, 24 June 2012

...and two makes seven!

Another morning trip to Dovedale to pick up litter and check on the river level and the stepping-stones!
The road was flooded and the wave produced by the wheels of the vehicle sent a Mallard mum and her youngsters out from the cover of the bank and into the middle of the fast-flowing river. The youngsters being big enough now to take care of themselves, I wasn't unduly worried for their safety but, nonetheless, watched their progress: 1..2..3..4..5 young Mallards - well done mum! Then I suddenly remembered; the pale female, in this area for the past few weeks, and her seven youngsters...
Now, Mallards are not uncommon in Dovedale but every year when the new broods arrive it is impossible not to follow their progress. With each female occupying a territory so that, in addition to her markings, it is fairly easy to monitor the progress of individual families, it is always interesting to see how many of the original brood make it through. And no matter how common they may be, it always a little saddening to realise that not all the chicks from a particular family have made it to adulthood.  So here was my 'Thorpe Cloud Family' down in number by two.  Oh well, that's life. And the remaining five seemed to be coping well with what nature had to throw at them thus far.
Slightly saddened, I have to admit, I put the vehicle back in gear and started off down the road. Which immediately sent two young Mallards rushing out from the shelter of the bank to join their mother and siblings in the torrent!! Having made it expertly to the other side of the river, the family cruised smoothly under Thorpe Cloud. I felt the need to double-check: 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. 7!  Well done little guys and well done mum! I do like a happy ending!

Simon, Dovedale Ranger.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Floods at White Peak

On Saturday I arrived in Dovedale to find the river in a state of flood. The tarmac road was flooded from about half way up and deepened to over knee deep approaching the Stepping Stones, they were completely invisible. I estimate there was at least 2 ft of water covering them. The Thorpe Cloud riverside footpath was also severely flooded making access into the dale hazardous.

I put out a number of signs advising visitors of the hazards. In addition I asked Steve, the volunteer Patrol Ranger, to patrol the area all day as a point of contact and help for visitors.

Wetton Mill – Ranger Mark Cunningham did an emergency delivery of sandbags on Friday afternoon, and the flood missed getting into the holiday cottages by a few inches. Jeanette, the tea room proprietor, has some spectacular photos of the extent of the water in and around the yard which she intends to frame and display in her tea room. The buildings adjacent to the river were flooded by about 3 ft and Jeanette lost some of her stores which were replaced from stores at Ilam.

In the Manifold Valley, the normally small tributary, Hoo Brook, broke its bank and washed out a huge habitat pile to about 50 yards below its original position, it only being stopped by a stock fence which acted as a giant tea strainer. 

Milldale- I placed a sign on Viators Bridge advising the Stepping Stones were flooded – I also swept out the flood debris from the barn and cleared the blocked culvert by the gate.

By Sunday the waters had receded slightly and the top of the Stepping Stones were partly visible. Two of the stones had been dislodged making access across the river impossible. Also a large quantity of debris had accumulated both on the turning circle and the stones – as both were still flooded on Sunday morning I have not removed them. I have made three more signs “Stepping Stones Closed – Damaged by floods” and placed them either side of the cattle grid and on the nearby pedestrian gate.

Even so a good number of visitors walked past the signs and were seen to attempt to cross the gaps in the Stepping Stones – a hazardous exercise considering the force of the swollen river between the remaining stones and the large gap created.

The plight of the nesting water birds can only be imagined. Although the adults would survive any nests with eggs or young near to the water line must surely have been lost, also fledgling young would be swept far downstream, quickly losing contact with the parent birds and bringing their chances of survival to nil.

By Wednesday the river had receded, but was still flowing over the road, indicating the huge volumes of water which are still flowing down from the surrounding hills.

Malcolm Stonier
Ranger - Manifold Valley

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Jubilee Beacon Bivi

Can we light a jubilee beacon on Lords Seat? Well yes, but it's not the easiest place to get to. I think it’s Derbyshire’s highest hill (Kinder, Bleaklow etc are higher but are plateaus)

A few phone calls to local farmers to make sure they are ok with things, find the burner basket / brazier – last seen about 6 years ago! Load everything onto a trailer behind the Landrover the afternoon before the event, then go and help rescue a cow out of a 10ft deep hole. Not part of the plan, just something to make the clock tick faster and make us worry more about having everything ready for lighting the beacon at 10.15pm.
Anyway, an enthusiastic group of helpers, 2 Quad bike trips, a couple of bottles of wine and Jaffa cakes, and its all ready to go ( magic ingredient: some kindling sticks soaked in Diesel).

It was a fantastic night for lighting Beacons, clear and a bit of a breeze to keep the fire flaring, then a full moon appearing from behind the clouds about 11pm.  About 40 “ Beacon Seekers” appeared out of the darkness to enjoy the atmosphere.

A few of us had decided to stay up there all night and camp or bivi, then tidy things away first thing in the morning. It was a little bit cold and having to remove a slug from the side of your face is not the best way to greet the morning, better than having a dream about eating a liquorice allsort though.

The Skylarks were up and singing at 4am, so drift in and out of sleep for a bit and then up at 6am for a brisk walk around to get warm. Half an hour later Mark was appearing out of his tent – saying how comfy it was! Kettle on for a brew and then Jenny appeared out of her tent leaving her friend to slumber on. Jenny wearing her Teddy Bear furry jacket and walking about barefoot through the bilberry, definitely a Fairy Child!

Cups of tea, chat, and watch the early morning mist rolling over the ridge between Mam Tor and Losehill.

Definitely need another excuse to Bivi out again!

Chris Millner
Area Ranger
Longshaw & Hope Valley