The Mysterious Tree of Stoodley View

Winter sun produces a light like no other, and we are fortunate to have a had a number of perfectly clear days recently. On one such day, I realised soon after 3pm that the sun was fast disappearing from the valley and raced from our dark hillside across to the trees of John Wood above … Continued

The Old Road

A number of times over the past dozen years I have been summoned to mid-Wales to undertake a rather unusual Rights of Way survey. It is the same as many others I have done except the paths just aren’t there, so it feels like walking a series of notional lines on a map which may … Continued

Woodland Heritage Survey

It was probably not the day many of us had imagined when we signed up for the Celebrating Woodland Heritage survey at Hardcastle Crags, a small hardy group of us gathering in the car park amid light but persistent rain. Snow had been forecast but only touched the higher ground, and down here the slushy … Continued

Midwinter Solstice

Dawn on December 21st is at 8.23am in West Yorkshire, late enough to allow even those out the night before to join in the winter solstice celebrations. I have been invited to join a large group of Calder Valley fellrunners “aiming to see if Chris Goddard is right about the sun rising out of the … Continued

In Judy Woods

The West Yorkshire Woods had been out all of a week when my friend Mark looked at it and remarked ‘I see you haven’t found the cross in Tinker Bank Wood.’ I thought I had, but it turns out I was wrong. A few days later I explored the overgrown corner of the wood he’d … Continued

In the Shadow of Hinkley Point

On the remote marshes of Somerset, thrust far out into the Bristol Channel from the main roads west, stands a remarkable heap of earth and stones. The Pixie’s Mound is a Bronze Age round barrow marking the burial site of several people, whose remains were excavated in 1907 along with numerous beakers and Roman objects. … Continued
Sketch of dog at Tinker Bank Wood

Tinker Bank Wood

Tinker Bank Wood is much like any other pocket of woodland in the Calder Valley – it is steep, muddy and littered with rocks – yet it is endlessly fascinating. I visit it several times a week to walk the dog and see it in all seasons and all weathers, and I never tire of … Continued