Fifteen minutes due east of Sheffield, you arrive at the Upper Derwent Valley where three large reservoirs were created in the nineteen thirties. They are Howden, Upper Derwent and Ladybower and it was largely by the last of these that I was walking yesterday afternoon. A sad thing about Ladybower is that when the valley was dammed, two small but significant villages had to be drowned. They were Ashopton and Derwent. Less than half of Derwent remains and these gateposts that are now in a thicket on the edge of the reservoir once led to the old vicarage:-
Back at my parked car, I notice Ashes Farm overlooking what remains of Derwent Village. A working shepherdess called Kath Birkinshaw lives here. She is a remarkable, hard-working woman who came down from the hills last year to speak about her life at Shirley's Women's Institute. Her father and grandfather before her were sheep farmers. Talks to local groups help to supplement her meagre farming income. There's not much money in sheep these days.