Stanage Edge in the Peak District / by Neil Alexander

Stanage Edge, Peak District (Click to view larger)

 Last weekend, I had the privilege to spend the entire weekend up in the Peak District. If you'd been following my tweets, you'd have noticed that Saturday, weather-wise, was a disaster. The day started off grey and miserable and ended up the same way, and to be pretty honest felt even greyer and more miserable in between. That said, it was still a very productive day. I must have covered over 100 miles driving around scoping out potential locations, working out where the sun would rise and set at each and what angle to shoot from etc etc. It was extremely beneficial and I found a mighty fine spot for lunch at the Fox House Inn near Hathersage. Though when I got back home on Saturday evening having shot a mere handful of frames and after looking at the forecast for the next day, I felt a little deflated. I met up with a good friend that evening and we shared a few shandies and I went to bed quite late having decided that I was going to have a well earned lie in and, if the forecast stayed true, I was going to catch up on some editing.

I surfaced about half an hour before sun up and true to form it looked bleak, so I climbed back into bed with the Sunday papers. Having indulged myself for over an hour, I decided that I needed to head back up to the Peaks, and just see what played out. I'm glad I did. Sometimes, I just get a feeling that they greyness is here to stay, and that despite all my best efforts, I end up making nothing. This morning however, I just had a hunch. As I drove back up over the Snake Pass, I entered an eery misty other world, and then as I dropped down the other side, I caught faint glimpses of golden winter sunlight through the clouds. Sure enough as I arrived at my first location, Stanage Edge, the cloud had thinned sufficiently to produce little pockets of sunlight dotted all over the landscape. I smiled.

Climbers at the foot of Stanage Edge, Peak District

Stanage Edge is a 6 kilometre long gritstone edge sited on Hallam Moors due North of Hathersage. At its peak it's probably only about 25 metres high, but it is stunning to look at and clearly very popular with climbers. Currently there are over 800 recorded rock climbs, with more being invented every year, however it's becoming a victim of it's own popularity and in places much of the vegetation has been worn away by the endless walking boots clambering over it.  In fact the same can be said for large swathes of the Peak District - congested roads, full car parks etc etc.

Unfortunately I feel that the more the current government's drive to build new homes on existing green belt land, the more those looking for a little jaunt to the countryside will be herded into beauty spots like the Peak District as there will be no place else to go. Finally, here are November's selected from the web links.... Some great photographers - well worth a look.