A week ago I parked Clint in the village of Shatton near Bamford before plodding up the hillside to a telecommunications mast that overlooks The Hope Valley. It was a mile of solid uphill walking but I have found that if you breathe steadily and take shorter steps there is no need to pause on such a walk. Patiently, you just keep going.
By the time I reached the mast there was sweat on my brow. A couple were sitting on a grassy slope nearby, admiring the view. I kept going across Shatton Moor and then onward to Brough Lane. From there you get great views of Hope Cement Works (see top picture).
|A view of Bamford in The Hope Valley|
Some people bewail the presence of this industry - considering it to be a blot on The Peak District landscape. But I recognise that the modern world needs limestone-based products and families in the nearby villages of Hope and Bradwell need work. Living, breathing national parks need to be part of the real world. It's not all about rental cottages and biscuit box lid scenery.
A posse of girls on horseback trotted along the upland track as I descended to Elmore Hill Farm where spring lambs frolicked. And then on to Upper Shatton and along the narrow lane that leads you back to Shatton. Cowslips and primroses bloomed on the grassy banking of ancient hedgerows and more lambs sheltered with ewes in the shade of a copse because it was an unseasonably warm day.
Across the ford and back into Shatton where I took a bottle of water from Clint's boot and swigged it down in one great gulp. It was like breathing air.