England, UK

England, UK

For a bleak place, the moors of the Peak District where I live are surprisingly alive. Perhaps it is in apparent starkness that one can truly know the life of a place. This is merlin country of sweet summer scent and of winter survival, a land where the slender curlew trills to the empty beauty of the wide sky and the simple curve and sweep of distant hills. The valleys around our village are called 'cloughs', some harbouring bluebells in May – higher still are sultry blanket bogs and home to thriving forms of moorland life – that have borne witness to great geologic and climatic changes since their formation 60 million years ago, when the tropical Carboniferous forests were inundated by shallow seas and moulded by glacial ice sheets into its present wind-eroded, rock-edged fastness. Winter brings an arctic echo to this dark landscape, with temporary permafrost not unlike the tundra of the northlands. But soon, among the roughest sedge, marsh marigold, foxglove and cotton grass fringe the peaty pools with delicate colours. In any moorland stream, lined with hanging heather and flowering rowan, you will find stoats or voles, occasional foxes, and always the raven thereabouts. On any day of the year there is space up here, space to reflect, time to listen to other voices, and to have a conversation with the land.

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Journal Entries

New book: KINDER SCOUT – The People's Mountain

Words by Ed Douglas | Photography by John Beatty Read More →

Fungi Hunting in Winter Woods

Woodlands in Britain are quiet in winter. In the Peak District where I live we are surrounded by mixed woods. Sycamore, beech, larch and birch flank many of our valley sides. After prolonged rain when the dank trees are dripping on to soggy leaf mould it is a great time to go hunting for a few common fungi species.  Read More →