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On the third day of our stay in the Peak District we decided on a slightly longer walk than usual and took a picnic with us.  We drove towards Buxton but just before entering the town we took the A54 road off to the right and then a minor road off that road and parked the car in the Derbyshire Bridge car park.  This is a pleasant spot and is used as a picnic area.


A ladybird on our rather dusty windscreen


A Ladybird larva on the car.

Unfortunately, both ladybird and larva are Harlequin Ladybirds which have now outstayed their welcome in this country.  I wish that those in authority were more wary about using introduced insects to control other insects.

We were delayed at the beginning of our walk by the car beeping an alarm whenever we tried locking the doors.  After disturbing a couple who were having a picnic with their little grandson we decided that we ought to look at the car’s manual.  We found that the car was telling us that we were locking the spare key inside the car and that it would rather we didn’t.  I took the key out of my handbag which I had left in the boot and we were then able to start our walk.


The first part of the walk was along a path beside the infant River Goyt.


I saw this Common Hawker dragonfly (Aeshna juncea). It was typically wary and didn’t settle where I could get a good photo of it.  Only its head and wings and a little part of its thorax/abdomen can be seen here.


Upright Hedge Parsley (Torilis japonica)


The Goyt was running along merrily


Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea)


Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and Upright Hedge Parsley


A bridge across the water


A view of the surrounding moorland

This is a typical sight in moorland where driven grouse shooting takes place.  The patches on the hillside show where the heather has been burned to promote new growth shoots for the grouse to feed on.   I have recently signed a petition to have this sport banned as I think that instead of conserving wildlife these estates try to eradicate any creatures that may be a threat to their grouse.  All raptors, including the scarce Hen Harrier and Golden Eagles are considered a threat and are regularly shot or poisoned illegally by some, not all, gamekeepers employed on some of these estates.  In Scotland hundreds of thousands of Mountain Hare are culled every year.  I’ve signed another petition about this too!  I feel very strongly about this as you no doubt have realised.


The Heather (Calluna vulgaris) was in full bloom


The path across the moor

At this point we turned onto another path which rose up towards a plantation.  We entered the forest through a gate.


The forest path


Inside the forest were walls and the remains of buildings

This reminded me of the stone walls that Allen from New Hampshire Garden Solutions  finds in his local forest.  In this case the land that was originally farmed for sheep was subsequently acquired by a company or organisation that planted conifers but didn’t bother dismantling the walls.


A weir we found halfway through the plantation


Richard on the bridge over the river


The simple bridge


The barrier just up-stream from the bridge and weir


Lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica)

This was a flower I had never seen before.  It is very small and the leaves are tiny!  It is semi-parasitic on other plants’ roots.


We could see one of the local reservoirs from the path that went up by the side of the plantation.


Our path….


…. got rougher and steeper


I think this lichen may be Cladonia pleurota


Heath Bedstraw (Galium saxatile)


I cannot identify this tiny bug. It marched purposefully across this rather bleak landscape.

The three photos above were taken while we rested and ate our lunch.  This last part of the walk I found exhausting as it was a continuous uphill climb and on very uneven and rough paths with large, loose rocks to walk over.


This is the view I saw when I looked up from my seat on a rock

The weather was cloudier and cooler than earlier in the week.  We were glad of this!


There was still plenty of late Common Cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium) in amongst the Heather

p1010168lichen/slime mould

This might be a slime mould but I am not sure!


A Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) hovering high up in the sky


A veritable garden of lichen and moss on top of a stone wall.  It’s a pity the photo isn’t any clearer.

We had thought we might go up Shining Tor but we changed our minds when we had got to the top of the stony path.  We were too tired.  Why is it called ‘Shining Tor’?  I don’t know.


This is another view from where we were standing.

The visibility wasn’t great and the distant hills were lost in haze but the sky above us was clear and blue now.  We began to descend towards the Cat and Fiddle pass (I expect you were wondering why this post was called Cat and Fiddle) and the Cat and Fiddle pub.


An out of focus photo of a wild pansy growing next to the path. I think it may be a Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea)


More pansies


and even more pansies!


Just one more!


I eventually looked up and noticed the view. The road you see in the middle distance is the Cat and Fiddle Pass.


The Cat and Fiddle pub (on the right of the photo)


I saw more Cottongrass next to the path but this was definitely past its best!


I then saw an interesting-looking stone just to the left of the path


On closer examination I found it was an old mile-stone and realised that the path we had been walking on since Shining Tor was part of the old coach road.


I looked at the path and saw that it looked very much like an old road. Richard is ahead of me here as usual and is near where the path joins the new busy road.


I found a very late orchid in the grass. It was faded and I couldn’t identify it.


We were disappointed to discover that the pub was shut and we weren’t to get a drink after all.

It does seem sad that the place that the pass was named after should be shut and empty.  We walked past the pub.  Through the windows we could see everything had been left as it was on the day it had shut months before.  There was even a menu board extolling the virtues of a meat pie!

We soon turned off the main road onto a narrow road that would eventually bring us back to the carpark.  I saw many different plants on the way.


Meadow Crane’s-bill (Geranium pratense)


Lots more Common Cotton Grass


Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) and Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)


Yet another poor photo I’m afraid! This is another flower I had never seen before – Knotted Pearlwort (Sagina nodosa)


A very pink Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


Sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica)


Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis agg.)


Crosswort (Cruciata laevipes)

We found the car, drove back to our caravan and made ourselves a nice cup of tea.  We were quite tired after our long walk and found it difficult to stay awake.  We had arranged to have lunch with my brother-in-law the next day so Richard booked a table at a local restaurant and phoned his brother to let him know when and where we were to meet each other.

To be continued….

Thanks for visiting!