Descending Biggin Dale from Dale End. A very obliging Whitethroat.
The High Peak Trail beyond the farm.
Distance:12.5 miles; Climb:816'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes; On the move walking average:2.9 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.5m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Sylvia and Dave J.
What a glorious day for walking, perhaps little on the warm side, but out of the valleys we were accompanied by a wonderful cooling breeze. This is very popular area and the two trails were well used by families of cyclists taking advantage of the easy gradients on the former track beds. Our first break from the crowds was on the descent of Biggin Dale, a lovely valley leading down to the Dove, another popular dale. Once again many Spring flowers were on display. In fact the upper reaches of Biggin Dale could be renamed Orchid Valley with one side of the valley in particular being adorned by hundreds of Early Purple Orchids.
Birds seen or heard today included:Swallow. Dunnock, Wren, Greenfinch, Great tit, House sparrow, Garden warbler, Blackcap, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Kestrel, Mallard, Chaffinch and Whitethroat.
Sylvia started the walk with an ice lolly from the Hartington Station Signal Box shop, as well as celebrating the end of the walk with one too. Richard also decided to join in this cooling activity. Dave J. and Martyn decided to wait until arriving at the Wilkes Head in Leek where that wonderful beer, Hartington bitter, was quaffed with relish.