A trip along the Black Hills of Disley

A little drive out from Macclesfield, but well worth the journey, we set off from Mudhurst Lane (I think!) and 29 of us headed up the shaded path.

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We crossed the stream

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by the wooden bridge alongside the brick bridge.

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It was not long before the splendid view opened out.

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The path took us through a farm yard

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from where we took the lane

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to the entrance to ‘High Peak School’

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Which had once been a hotel, I learnt, famed for putting up the visiting teams to City and United before its fall from grace!

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We headed off through the tall grass

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and the tall ‘Great-Hairy Willow Herb’. Rachel a biologist in our midst supplies the expert knowledge on plants. I’m determined to learn at least two different plants per walk!

Rachel points out the characteristic white cross in the centre of its flower.

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I asked Rachel to point out plants of interest. I always enjoy learning new things!

We continued walking up the hill.

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I asked what the long grass is called.

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Apparently it is called ‘Soft Rush’ name because how smooth and soft its stems are.

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we were heading for the top of ‘Black Hill’

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where we took our break

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with panoramic views around.

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Rachel told me about two types of grasses – The ‘Brown Bent’ and the ‘Common Bent’.

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Apparently the Common Bent grass is also known as the ‘Heil Hitler’ plant from the angle that the branch makes with the stem!

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We headed off along the edge

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the heather is at its best this time of year.

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The sound of what must have been 200 Canada geese (don’t believe me, zoom in and count!) in the field below broke the silence of the country side.

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After the edge we passed a pond where Bull Rushes grew.

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where Brian came across a ‘Red Harvestman’ spider

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and a ‘Small Copper’ butterfly enjoyed the nectar of a thistle.

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We passed two goats in the field

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who were weary as we interrupted the enjoyment of their view across New Mills.

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In the field below the goats someone found a group of  ‘Persistent Waxcap fungi’ no doubt brought on by the previous night’s heavy rain.

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The horses seemed pleased to see us, no doubt hoping for a not needed apple core. There were six of them, I wondered if they were a team.

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A ‘Meadow Brown’ feasted on Rag Wort by the wall.

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We took the path through the trees

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passing the three story stone house with its pleasing wooden door,

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recently rendered cottage with beautifully coloured stone

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and passing a feast of hanging baskets

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to Higher Stoneridge house with its very own pillar box

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and not complete without  Easter Island Stone, cannon and supper-man occupied telephone box!

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As we headed for our cars, looking back you could clearly see ‘The Cage’. The hunting lodge at Lyme Park, but no doubt named from its occasional use as a lock up for prisoners – probably my relatives poaching a bit of rabbit to keep hunger from the door.

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Then back to the cars after another great walk.

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