Walk Diary Sunday 19 February 2017 Weather, 8°C. fair.
Hay Wood NT CP Depart 10 a.m. 8 ½ miles Leader: Jane H.
No. on walk 21
A delightful walk, if somewhat a little chilly along the edges, although it was to be expected as we were well over one thousand feet above sea level for most of that time. We experienced some amazing scenery, most still in winter drab, but delve a little deeper under the fallen Bracken or the frost burnt grasses and you will see the green shoots of spring emerging. Over the moors we could hear the grumbling chatter of Grouse, now out of season, the danger of buck shot far away, but they still seem to heckle at our presence from amongst the Heather. Another great sight for us was at lunch time, when a large herd of thirty plus Roe Deer were seen afar off in a hollow near a Heather bank, just about visible to the naked eye as their column moved slowly away from us, their white rumps distinguishable through the lens of a camera using a zoom setting. I have included a picture of some of them, which is the best shot I could reproduce in this medium.
Our larger than normal Sunday group moved off towards Longshaw estate, passing by Tumbling Hill and through Oaks Wood, rounding the pond at Granby Wood. Then making our way to the National Trust Longshaw Lodge, arriving there spot on eleven, just right for our first break and of course there was plenty of seating and picnic tables, which we made good use of. From the lodge we turned south, following the cycle way to the junction of A625 and B6054, crossing both here and entering onto White Edge Moor. Once on the Moor we followed a well used path, well trodden through the heather and into the peat. It appeared, as you will see from the picture to be very muddy, in fact it was dampened peat which we could pass over or around with ease. In fact it seemed to be that cyclists were to blame for the state of this way, their tyres causing damage cutting through the surface of the peaty layers. We continued along the path that goes along White Edge, walking the edge southwards and gradually climbing to the trig point on Big Moor, marked on the map as 365 metres. Together with another group of Ramblers, this is where we took our lunch break, this was Big Moor and there was plenty of rocks scattered around on which we could sit in comfort and gaze upon this vast expanse of moorland.
With lunch over we continued on along the last part of this edge, turning to walk downwards, crossing Sandyford Brook very near to its source. It was good to see that work had been done here, by some quite skilled hands, reconstructing the dry stone wall leading down to the brook, a picture attached. Quite suddenly we found ourselves, as it were, at the centre of this small universe, Curbar Gap car park, crammed full of cars and people toing and froing, even a van selling coffee and an assortment of good looking cakes, unfortunately our lunch was only ten minutes behind us, so we forced ourselves to carry on, not daring a second look as we passed the van by.
We were now set for the return leg, northwards back to the car park at Hay Wood, around two miles from this spot. Walking firstly along Curbar Edge and then Froggatt Edge, these edges were alive and bustling with people, not just walkers but climbers too. We stood with interest to watch a man flying a radio controlled glider, which under his skilled fingers zoomed and barrelled around the sky. He was so engrossed in his subject that he was probably oblivious to our wondering eyes. Thankfully James was able to capture this sight for you.
As we neared the end of the walk, it was good to see all these folk out enjoying this area and certainly like us the views, although somewhat marred by distant haze. A sharp downhill stretch led us to the A625, crossing this carefully at a point equidistant from two sharp corners. A downward rush now to a small stream, ideal for washing the boots, although in truth it was not really needed and then a short uphill clamber to the car park. Many of us called at the Calver coffee shop on the way back, just to end a great day in style.