|Sheep on the grassy western slopes of Highlow|
The Peak District is England's oldest national park. Within its boundaries there are sheep farms but no wind farms. Planning legislation is pretty tough. If you own a house or cottage within the national park, you must seek special approval for any significant changes you hope to make to your home.
The southern half of The Peak District is limestone country. In fact, it is often referred to as The White Peak. The village I visited yesterday, Earl Sterndale, is right on the edge of The White Peak and if you look eastwards from the door of "The Quiet Wonan" you see a typical grassy limestone hill rising above the village.
However, things are not quite as they seem because at the top of this great hill, called Highlow, there is a track that marks the boundary of the national park. To the eastern side of this track there's a mile long security fence and beyond that there are three huge limestone quarries. Effectively, you find yourself looking over a high cliff into massive holes in the ground from which millions of tons of limestone have been extracted.
The limestone is mainly used for road building and the manufacture of cement. It is a vital resource but thank heavens The Peak Planning Authority have severely limited quarrying activity with the park's boundaries. There's a big quarry at Hope but that existed before The Peak District came into being
When I took the steep path up Highlow from Earl Sterndale I was rewarded with wonderful illumination from the west. It shone down on the quarries and I was able to snap several pictures of the surreal and slightly disturbing scenes I saw before me. Here's a sample:-