Book of the month: Claxton

Book of the month: Claxton

©Jonathan Gibbs, from Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker Nature writer, bird obsessive and Buxton boy Mark Cocker has recently been appointed Ambassador for Friends of the Peak District, a role that should present few problems for someone so passionate about the landscapes and wildlife of his childhood. Mark no longer [...]

The Permanence of Things

The Permanence of Things

Back Tor ©Albert Hugh Robinson The new year arrived and, as always, change was expected. New ambitions, new resolve, new optimism. But last year was only a week ago and today seems very similar to 2017. The idea of change was a restorative one at least, even if it only lasted until the NYE hangover [...]

Legends of the Snow

Legends of the Snow

So snow has arrived in Edale and it's beautiful – for us relative newcomers to the valley, a few inches on the hills is a thrill. But no sooner have we stocked up on tinned goods and battened down the hatches in anticipation of further downfalls, our excitement is inevitably overshone by village tales of snows past. "Wait till you see real snow," has become something of a catchphrase in Edale, delivered with a raise of the eyebrows to those of us who've arrived in the last five, even ten years. What generally follows is an anecdote involving ten foot drifts, tractor-based rescues, schools closed for weeks or Christmas guests remaining stranded until long into the New Year [...]

Keeping The Village School Alive

Keeping The Village School Alive

At the heart of Edale is its village school. Now the smallest school in Derbyshire, there are fewer than ten children currently attending, but the determination of the village to keep the school open and thriving is palpable. Over the centuries, pupil numbers have risen and fallen as local farming families have expanded or moved on, newcomers have brought young children for a life in the country or merely snapped up half-used holiday homes, and transport links have made access to other villages – and other schools – more viable. Today the odds are firmly stacked against the school, as they must be with small rural schools all over the UK, but with a village full of past pupils the passionate support of the community is vital to Edale School's survival [...]

Bella Hardy: Local Hero

Bella Hardy: Local Hero

Edale boasts more than its fair share of talent. For a small village seemingly cut off from everywhere, it's a hive of ideas, music, words and age-old skills. Bella Hardy, award-winning folk musician and passionate daughter of the valley, is one of our brightest stars and has recently come home to roost. Her new album (her ninth), Hey Sammy, is out next week – a soaring reflection on recent travels to far-flung lands and the modern Britain she has come back to [...]

Getting up with the sun

Getting up with the sun

The one good thing about the onset of winter mornings is being awake in time to welcome the sun. Sitting on the side of the valley, under the shadow of Mam Tor, we see sunrise upside down on the opposite side. The tip of Grindslow Knoll and the tops of Kinder are the first to glow orange, before a warm ooze of light works its way downwards, leaving the bottom of the valley in cold shadow until the very last. This photo was taken a few mornings ago, when a perfect, blue-skied morning made a pyjama'd walk into the fields irresistable [...]

Autumn: the season of beginning

Autumn: the season of beginning

I love Autumn. The colours, the smells, the sense of anticipation as the year marches ever more quickly towards the cliff edge. Here in the Peaks, it is also the season of knowing where you stand weather-wise. The summers are greeted with high expectations, but are often punctuated with drizzle, while the winters come with warnings of impassable roads and school closures, but are most often accompanied by... well... drizzle. Autumn on the other hand is greeted gladly with the full knowledge that days will be shorter and jumpers will be required. [...]