Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


Theories Welcome.

In a bit of a dash between dental appointments and a Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning, I squeezed in a couple of photo stops.

Well who could resist? It’s near Wildboarclough, Macclesfield Forest.

Macclesfield to Buxton_

There is a lovely little holiday cottage, just around the corner and a cosy pub.  what could be nicer?  (Doug’s Dad should take note… )

Then, chasing the light, I zipped  off down towards Derbyshire Bridge, the light was too fast for me. But this caught my eye.

I’m not sure how best to explain, the terrain is rough moorland, peat and heather, as you look at the next photo, you can perhaps see (or imagine) how there is a clough, or gully, running from the  ‘10 o’clock’ position towards the centre of the image, where it opens out into a boggy area, full of rushes, I’d expect the rushes to look like the swath of bright green in the centre of the image, 

rushes flat 3

but something has laid them flat, like a thatch, a surge of  water maybe? Or a vortex of wind? its a very exposed place.  It did make me think of crop circles.  Maybe at a certain point in the year, the rushes need a lie down?

rushes flat 4

Come along dear reader, what do you make of it?


Other Routes are Available

I’m not a fan of the A515, if I can find an alternative route I will.  Especially if it is as photogenic as this,

High Wheeldon_

It’s taken near High Wheeldon 

I was returning from Hartington Wakes Show, which had a lovely atmosphere, and is set in a beautiful location. I even bumped into my geography teacher from secondary school, he was fresh out of university back then, and now he is retired…  don’t know how that happened, it doesn’t seem so long ago that I left school.

Vintage tractors, horses a plenty.

Hartington 6

A sheepdog herding ducks, and ladders for every occasion, not sure how you are supposed to get them home.

Hartington 5

Prize livestock

Hartington show

Of all sizes

Hartington 3

A glowing produce tent (my Chinese lanterns, never even flowered, only just surviving the slugs). 

Hartington 7

I wonder what the farms of the future will look like for these young competitors

Hartington show 3


Taddington Moor High Mere

Taddington Moor High Mere looked nothing like this when I stumbled upon it today. I was on one of my pre work diversions again, I thought I might be in with a chance of mist mantled hills, punctuated by field barns or piercing church spires. But I simply couldn’t get above the cloud that has superimposed the inversion mist I’d hoped for.

Never mind, the beauty was in the detail.

Scabious seed head


Rosebay willow herb

rosebay willow herb 2

There were so many beautiful flowers, but it was the cobwebs that stole the show.

web four_

Here soggy  thistledown has caught in the web

soggy down_

web one_

I’ll go back another day in search of the view

what no view_

It only took until lunch time for my trousers to dry out….


Working with Nature

We’ve been visiting this part of Devon for many years, having our summer holidays here for the last 14 years; with each passing year we’ve noted the village of East Portlemouth  struggled to keep its community vibrant (no criticism intended, we know  a committed team work hard at many events) but the fact is there are less villagers and more holiday homes,  as an older generation passes. Indeed Mr Uphilldowndales aunt N was one of that community

So it was very exciting to see (and hear)  a new vibrancy to the village that has been brought my new tenants of the farm that wraps itself around the village, the aptly named Village Farm. The farm has lain unworked for a number of years and now its not so much being worked, as nourished, regenerative farming ;  delivered with an infectious enthusiasm and acres of passion.  I could try and describe their work, but I couldn’t do it as eloquently or a knowledgably,  So I’ll send you to the website of Village Farm,  do watch the video.

They use a method of grazing called ‘mob grazing’ a large number of animals, sheep in this case, in a small area of land for a short period of time, you’ll have to believe me if I tell you there are 800 in here somewhere…  happily and noisily munching away.

Village farm 10

Here they are coming down the village, with resident neighbours willingly mucking in with traffic and sheep herding (no dogs were used)

Village farm 7

They can move at quite a pace

Village farm 8

A view from the other side of the estuary gives an idea of what’s involved, this field, which will house the Field of Light, later in the year was grazed over three days

Village farm 11

Then it was time to move on to pastures new, with the sheep back off up the village again.

Village farm 3

The photographs on Village Farm’s facebook page are gorgeous, the sort of work that oozes from knowing your subject, field skills and, as mentioned,  acres of passion .

(We can’t wait to see the pigs next year).


Cut, Muck and Roll

The field was mown, and basked in sun, once it was rowed up and baled there was haste to get it wrapped and off the field, we’ve had some dramatic storms and torrential rain.  The contractors worked through the night, it was about four thirty AM when they came into our field.


My patch of meadow flowers in the foreground is left for Mr Uphilldowndale to cut with his precious scythe, when it has fully seeded.

Today the field was mucked, Spud was delighted.

spud rolling_


Thirty days wild. June 8th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_08

The best thing that you can do for nature is to make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.


A low sun catches the meadow,

30WD back lit 2


the red campion look like they have stems of glass.

30WD red campion_


Landscape and lambs

30WD sheep


Morning Meadow.

What is not to like about a meadow at six in the morning, on a beautiful summer day. Spud the dog and I took a meadow meander,

Meadow Morning

My friend Mrs Ogg say’s I look like I’m wearing a ball gown. I think the silhouette looks a little like the game piece in that little box of treasures I found at my Mum’s.

Game piece_ 

In fact I was wearing far more casual attire. My dressing gown, wellington boots, accessorised with a mug of tea, obviously.

Fashion statement

Seize the moment, I say.


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