From Wincle towards Shutlingsloe

On a fine sunny morning 25 of us met outside the Ship Inn at wincle

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before heading off up the road and taking the path to the right.

After crossing a field the path took us through the trees

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and then across a tributary of the Dane.

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On passing through a farmers yard you had to admire their garden

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and views to die for.

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Soon Shutlingsloe came into view. (The name derives from old English ‘Scyttel’s hlaw’ meaning ‘Scyttel’s (personal name) hill’ and is one of several ‘low’ names in the Peak District, from the same Old English root that gives rise to the name “Law” for many hills in southern Scotland.)

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As we continued our walk towards Shutlingsloe

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the path took us by Clough Brook Cottage.

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which you can rent if you fancy a holiday in the Peak district National Park.

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The cattle were lazily enjoying their sunny morning.

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and a couple of sheep sought shade.

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We took our break on the soft grass

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and enjoyed the company and the views.

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As we turned away from Shutlingsloe it looked as though someting was written on the side of the hill. Does it really say – FREE.

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You certainly can’t put a price on such stunning views.

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We waited for everyone to catch up.

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before heading back past more lovely farm gardens

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and carefully negotiating the electric fences.

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Looking down into the valley you could see patterns where the hay had been cut.

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Having just been on an excellent butterfly walk, courtesy of the warden at Teggs Nose Country Park, I was keen to practice my newly acquired spotting skills – A Meadow Brown, I think.

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Nature is such a wonderful thing. It clings on whenever it has a chance – as this old tree shows

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as its roots cling to the rocks in the bank.

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We paused to examine a broken child’s swing across a stream, and wondered if a kid had taken a fall when the branch broke.

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We considered rehanging it from a sturdier branch but the group were waiting and it would have taken at least 15 minutes. So sorry to all those passing kids, I hope someone with a bit more time put it back for you. Perhaps I’ll try and pop back another day!

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We reached the field of hay. As a townie, I asked why it was left in lines.

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I was knowledgibly informed that the hey if first cut and then ‘teddered’. Which is a process of aerating of ‘wuffle’ the hay. It then undergoes ‘windrowing’ which is when it is put into those lines. Apparently a line is a windrow. It is then left for 2 days to dry before being bailed. You learn a  lot on these walks!

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Whilst being told this I noticed a moth trying to hitch a ride on the boot of Annie who was sharing her farming knowledge. I think it is a ‘Straw Dot’ moth.Apparently there are over 200 species of moths in this country – courtesy of the ranger at Teggs Nose Country Park.

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With only one more gate to cross we headed back to our cars at the Ship Inn. (We made sure we closed this and every other gate we passed through!)

The walk had been so good my wife and I could not resist having a drink and a meal in the Ship Inn. The food was excellent and reasonably priced.

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