Thursday, 5 April 2012

Tod walk 4 : Up Back o'th' Edge

We skirted the bottom of Gorpley Reservoir dam wall and headed off up a lane past this rather impressive tree house.

Then, after yet another drop to road level, we began our second climb of the day, along Back o'th' Edge  track towards Higher Woodfield Farm on the shoulder of the hill.

These impressive Highland cattle watched our passing with vague interest.

At least, I think they were both watching. It's hard to be sure under all of that hair!

This Small Tortoiseshell butterfly paused on the path to soak up a little sun. Once replenished, he continued on his way.

The Small Tortoiseshell is one of the most common species seen in the UK and, given a spell of warm weather, it can be seen at any time of the year, even mid-winter. More normally, they awake from hibernation near the end of March, after which they can be seen in a wide range of habitats, particularly favouring places where there are nettles.

Unfortunately, the species has declined in recent years, but it is unclear why this is happening.

Once up the track, the view opened out.. Wind farms are becoming increasingly common on our upland areas and their huge blades can often be seen rotating almost hypnotically. Today, though, these ones were completely motionless as there was hardly a breath of wind.

I'll return to this topic in a later post!

Meanwhile, we walked on past some newly renovated farm buildings towards this ruin at Roundfield Farm. Sad to think that this derelict farm house was once a family home. Look carefully and you can still see the brick built fireplace in the upper room.

But the ponies seemed quite content to call it home.


  1. What a beautiful walk you're having. I'm really enjoying the journey from the comfort of my big ol' chair.

    Such heavy coats these cows and ponies have. Is that for winter warmth or is it year-round?

  2. Happy to be along on this walk, H... I'm so yearning to go on one such as this! TThe view around Roundfield Farm is gorgeous! In fact, I came here right now because I just had an email conversation with a friend living in the south, Langport, Somerset, halfway between Taunton and Yeovil, and I was having a little daydream of a trip to see her and possibly meet up with you in Derby and jennyfreckles in Saltaire. Back to work for me now... :-)

  3. I love your photos of the Highland cattle and the ponies:)

  4. The ruin is very sad but also photogenic. I do love the Highland cattle! A farm near where I live breeds these and I must remember to take a photo of them.

  5. Hi,
    I just searched for photos of Roundfield Farm and came across your website. I had to smile when you say it was once a family home, as the place is very personal to me. My mother lived on the farm as a child up until about 27 years of age. Aged 70 she began to write "Roundfield Farm: Memories of a life of a child". To say life on the farm was hard is an understatement. My mum and her sister had to walk down the hill to school and back each day, often cold and wet when they arrived. The brick fireplace you refer to was in my mother and her sister's bedroom but she once told me they could only ever have the fire lit in the bedroom if one of them was ill as there wasn't enough coal.

  6. Thanks for your comment Rob. I haven't blogged for about three years now but it's good to know that it still sparks with someone from time to time. My mother lived on a now derelict smallholding during her childhood - in her case, in the high peak of Derbyshire. It was a tough existence. They moved closer to a village when she was 8-ish, to a bungalow which had electricity (though no bathroom - the outside loo was chemical). I still remember that my Grandfather would never turn on the house light until it was so dark that it was impossible to function without it. Electricity was too expensive! The living room was toasty warm though because it was tiny and had a huge York Seal range which was lit all year round.