Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lodge Moor, Stanage Edge, and Hathersage

I got an express train to Sheffield; it was busy as usual, standing room only. I'd forgotten to take my travel pass out of my wallet before boarding, a task that requires the use of two hands. The train was travelling fast and lurching from side to side by the time the ticket inspector reached me and asked to see my pass. I'm not very good at keeping my balance when standing up on buses and trains and was frantically holding on to the overhead handrail; at least I could reach it, two short women in front of me couldn't. I twice tried to take the pass out of my wallet, but on both occasions I stumbled into another passenger. I had managed to extract my wallet from inside a zipped pocket, but that was as much as I could manage. I told the ticket inspector that she'd have to get it out for me, which she did, checked it, and then put it back in my wallet with a smile. 

It was sunny in Sheffield City Centre, but when I got off the bus at Lodge Moor it was quite misty, with some threatening clouds approaching; it didn't rain though and the weather improved drastically only about an hour or so later.

I walked along the road for a few minutes and then took the path which eventually goes to Redmires Reservoirs. Just beyond the small group of houses which were built for the water company's staff who work on site I took a photograph of a field of what look like randomly placed hatches leading  to some sort of underground chamber; I've seen similar structures at Ladybower Dam.



I continued through some woodland which looked like a few trees had been blown over during the recent storm, passing a spillway which I suppose could have just as likely have been used as a bobsleigh run.



I reached the reservoirs' access road and noticed that contractors were working at the site of the middle of the three reservoirs; I think they were draining it.

At the far end of the metalled road I climbed up the track which leads to Stanedge Pole and then Stanage Edge. There were several dozen conspicuous large white bags filled with heather brash, for the re-seeding of Bleaklow according to the notice I read, pinned to a post. I suppose the bags would be transported there by helicopter.



I'm not convinced about the wisdom of scattering heather on the summit of Bleaklow, or neighbouring Kinder Scout as I noticed in the summer; surely the beauty of these two places, the two highest parts of the Peak District, is that they are totally unique and unlike anywhere else in the country. Why not just leave them as they are, black, barren and beautifully terrifying?

As can be seen by the shadows in the photograph, the sun had broken through the mist by now, and for the next two hours conditions were absolutely perfect for photography. 

I stopped for a few minutes to eat my sandwiches at Stanedge Pole and then continued to Stanage Edge; it's not far....by the way, the inconsistency in the spellings, Stanedge and Stanage, is as used by the Ordnance Survey on its maps. To my left there was a stile providing entry to the Access Land; I noticed that part of the wording of the sign informing people that it was Access had been carefully painted over - precisely the information informing people that they are free to roam wherever they wish in this part of the Peak District. This censorship and deliberate obfuscation by the Peak District National Park Authority is appalling...I certainly don't approve.



I lingered and took dozens of photos as I walked along the top of the Edge; unusually, for most of the time I was on my own and so could jump from rock to rock, or splash in the pools, without fear of admonishment or embarrassment...and I could get all the best camera angles.





Apart from taking photographs of the stunning scenery, I also spotted an interesting, and rather confusing sign. Because of the location of the studs or rivets, it looks like that there's a problem with dogs on roller skates. I think it's actually imploring owners to keep their dogs on leads...but it's certainly not obvious to me.



By the time I reached Hathersage it had clouded over again; I'd arrived in time to catch the 13:29 bus. It was quite early, but I'd done enough walking for the day; my bronchitis was causing me to start coughing quite a lot...and I'd run out of throat lozenges.