Wednesday 7 June 2017

Wild Moor and Burbage Edge

Although the hills to the west of Buxton, with their sheep, stables and copses, have an air of rural respectability their heights conceal a landscape of much wilder-looking topography. Indeed, one part of this hidden world is actually named Wild Moor, a stark vista that unfolds before you from the top of the hills. Patches of marsh jostle below slopes of coarse moorland grass and heather; and streams, some of them barely a trickle, strive to find a mazy route through it all to the Goyt Valley on the moor's far side.

Most, if not all, of the moorland in Northern England is the product of human deforestation thousands of years ago, of course, and much of it is now managed to take advantage of the money-making opportunities driven grouse shooting provides. Wild Moor has been subject to human intervention more than many such landscapes over the years. Even so, when I surveyed the expansive rolling grass ahead of me from the almost-comically neat and understated gate on its edge, I did get a little thrill of anticipation - as though I was about to step into an untouched wilderness.

Gateway to a different world...