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Amber Valley Ramblers, Derbyshire

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Home Diary Walks Beeley Chatsworth 23 Aug 2017

Beeley Chatsworth 23 Aug 2017

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Walk Diary Wednesday 23 August 2017
Beeley Chatsworth 7 ¾ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 19

It's me today, the deputy chronicler of our rambling adventures for Wednesday, since David was busy elsewhere. Well, considering that the view was non-existent due to low cloud, it was surprising that 19 of us turned up for today's walk. It had been very "murky" over the tops on my journey over from Derby by the back route (Carsington and Winster). The cloud level must have been well below 1,000 feet but it was warm with absolutely no wind. We met at the corner of Hell Bank plantation, above Beeley village, for a walk around the moors above Chatsworth. Gerry said the idea was to see the Heather full out, which it was. We could just see it through the thick mist, it was very eerie walking through the mist, especially since the landscape to the left of us has drastically changed due to the felling of a large part of Hell Bank plantation. I do not know if we could have found the familiar path we often walk through there, but we were not going that way today.

We walked along the dirt road to the large gate to go across Beeley Moor. This was even more eerie as tussocks of reeds and clumps of Heather near to the path were the only things we could see. Some sheep loomed out of the mist as surprised to see us as we them. We got to the corner where the sign for Hob Hurst's house loomed out of the gloom. We did not go there, but passed it by, I would not have been surprised at all if Hob had come out of the mist to greet us. Apparently Hob was a Derbyshire name for a goblin, a kind of nasty creature which would have done us no good, one could have believed in him today, but no goblins appeared as we turned to go the other way. In reality Hob Hurst's house is a bronze age burial cairn not that you can see much even on a good day in the summer its very overgrown.

We now had a ramble through the heather around the largely flattish moors, stopping by a barn for our coffee break still shrouded in thick mist. But gradually as we went down from the top, the mist cleared and we could see the lovely heather clad moors around us and it also became a lot warmer. As we went down a dirt track we met an enormous logging lorry coming up, it was very strange to see it, in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. Presumably he was going to pick up the felled logs from the plantations we had passed at the start of our walk, but one was tempted to ask if his sat nav' had taken him on a short cut!

We ended up upon the lovely (if tricky underfoot) path next to the A619. This took us to Dobb edge, finding here lots of early fungi under the Birch trees. Including Fly Agarics, big red fungi with white spots, if you eat these (I am told) they will give you hallucinations. The Vikings used to eat them before battle to make them Berserkers and even used to drink each other's urine to make them go further yuk!. There were a lot of other fungi and also Bracken and trees going brown indicating how early autumn is this year.

Then the walk changed completely under the lovely trees above Chatsworth, where we had lunch at the Hunting Tower. The mist had cleared, the sun came out to make for a lovely afternoon. We saw Chatsworth House below us and the waterfall which feeds the Emperor fountain. It is hard to believe that all this area is constructed by the Devonshire's to make a lovely backdrop to their dwelling. The edge was there, but it was landscaped in a time before JCBs, it must have taken quiet a lot of labour. Only 2 miles back to the cars now, at first through the trees then out onto the moor which is called on the map "The Warren". Now we could see the Heather in all its magnificence and the smell of it was delightful. 7.8 miles according to my phone, A good walk, ending with a few of us going for tea at Rowsley. Jane H.

PR1PR2PR3PR4pictures by Philip R.