Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Granny J left a comment on one of my posts and asked what exactly moorland is so I'll try and explain with the help of one or two not very great photos taken hurriedly in the last couple of days.
Moorland is invariably at least 800 feet above sea level on high plateaus and hillsides and it is very open country. The moorlands of the Dark Peak near where I live are gritstone with a layer of about 12+ feet of peat on top. It is generally exposed, windy, cool and has a high rainfall and this means that there are many areas of treacherous bog around. The moors are covered with heather, bracken, moorland grasses and very low growing shrubs like bilberry and crowberry. The scenery can be magnificent but not in this particular post - I just stopped the car and took quick photos from the roadside which isn't the best position.

This was taken yesterday in the late afternoon with lowering skies and a decidedly unfriendly aspect to the landscape. It also explains the fact that it looks as though only half the photo is there - the rest is thick grey cloud. I took it really because the heather is flowering so fantastically this year and I wanted to try and capture it. The photo at the top was taken at the same time and shows some of the rock formations that are scattered over the area. It will need enlarging to see it better but isn't very clear anyway because of the conditions.

Looking down towards the Hope Valley - again not all that clear because of the low cloud and low light.

This was taken today on a different road and on a much pleasanter day. There are great sheets of purple stretching into the distance. I can't ever remember seeing it as good as this.

One of the permanent residents of the moorland, sheep can survive up here and there are large flocks of them everywhere.


Julie Marie said...

Thank you so much for your photos of the English moors, which I have been reading about for 50 years! I hope someday to see heather in person, either in England or in Scotland or both.



Jenny said...

What lovely pictures- I didn't even notice the bad lighting until you mentioned them! The heather is just gorgeous, and the view down toward Hope Valley is just breathtaking. Thank you so much for taking the time to take these pictures and then blog about them- it's always such a treat to see what you've put up next!

meggie said...

Yes, your blog is a treat to visit. I really enjoyed seeing the moors, & the Heather.
And the lovely sheep- so different to the ones in my homeland New Zealand.

tash said...

Having lived in Lancashire, land of moorland, I can say how sometimes it can be very suffocating, with high bare hills all around. And driving along the M62, especially when misty, it's eerie and very lonely. Beautiful photos :)

miss*R said...

your photos tug at my heart - I want to visit!! How will I wait the long year and a bit til I get over there. Our land here in Australia is so different. When it stops raining,I will go and take some photos.
Moors - are all moors the same? I think some of my ancestors came from Dartmoor.. still checking to find out for sure.

Kris H. said...

Beautiful photos!! The heather is breath taking.

PAT said...

Rowan...I had to heave a big sigh!! These photos are amazing. Beautiful England! Thank you!


Amy said...

Funnily enough I discovered the meaning of moorlands as a child when I read many famous five books :-)

sheoflittlebrain said...

As always, lovely photos and informative post rowan. The farm tucked down in the folds of the hills..the lovely sweep of heather..sigh..

smilnsigh said...

Thank you for more lovely photographs.

Moors.... I always think of something like.. "The mist is on the moors." And they sound romantic and a bit foreboding. :-)


Ragged Roses said...

I love walking across moorland and the colour of the heather. One day I hope to visit the Yorkshire Moors, Bronte country etc, something I've wanted to do since I was a child.
Kim x

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos ( as always) and very informative! thank you for another lovely read.

Mary said...

Rowan - your description of the moors was great and made me homesick for Dartmoor where I spent much of my childhood - climbing Haytor Rock and hanging around Widecombe-in-the-Moor singing "Uncle Tom Cobley and All". Hope to get a run on Dartmoor in Oct. So anxious to see Devon. Where will you be in New Hampshire? My husband is from Manchester, NH and I lived there when we were first married before moving to Massachusetts and eventully to North Carolina. I love NH in the Fall - hopefully you will see some beautiful foliage color and get to visit the White Mts. Have you visited before?

Have a great weekend - hopefully a dry one - we're STILL waiting for rain!

Remiman said...

When pray tell are you coming to New Hampshire?

the landscape there is much like the morlands o've shown us here. I don't think I've ever seen heather, except in movies such as "Rob Roy", "Robinhood", and Braveheart."
I hope your jouney isn't during the two weeks D. and I will be in France...16 Sept. to 31st.

Anonymous said...

It looks so beautiful and rough where you live. I would love to take a stroll there, maybe someday.......
Have a great weekend filled with sunshine and laughter !!

Rosie said...

What wonderful photos. We often venture up to Hope and Castleton to walk and to do family history, many of my husband's ancestors lived and worked around there and some are buried in Edale churchyard.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

I love the heather-such a lovely colour!

Janet said...

Looking at these photos made me think of my great-grandfather who was a shepard near Flamborough. I liked thinking that he may have looked at some of this same kind of scenery as he watched over the sheep.

Rita M said...

Hi Rowan,

Your blog is so full of interesting posts. The English moor, never heard of but so beautiful!

Rita :)