February Forays

February hikes in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

January Jaunts

January hikes in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, a wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Photos of the Month 2019

Elmet Farmhouse Photos of the Month: 2019

Photos of the beautiful Yorkshire hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire – on the doorstep at Elmet Farmhouse holiday cottage in Pecket Well

June 2019

River of Mist below Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well at 9pm on 9 June 2019

River of Mist below Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well at 9pm on 9 June 2019
Little owl in Crimsworth Dean, a wildlife haven in the dale near Elmet Farmhouse
Willow warbler amongst the bracken in Crimsworth Dean
Willow warbler amongst the bracken in Crimsworth Dean, one of many different types of birds in this beautiful valley near Elmet Farmhouse
View from Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse
The colours in the sky and in the valley are equally striking
Redshank perched on a wall on the moor
Lanky long-legged redshank, one of many ground-nesting birds on the moors
Yellow-breasted Grey Wagtail by the river
Goosander on Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags
Goosander with a bevy of ducklings heading upstream
Early evening midsummer view from Elmet Farmhouse with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon
Skylark singing on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Golden plover near Limers Gate on Wadworth Moor

Golden plover chick emitting its poignant peeping cry on Wadsworth Moor above Elmet Farmhouse
A lovely spring morning in Crimsowrth Dean, looking along the valley towards the distant monument of Stoodley Pike
Graining Water at Blake Dean, Hardcastle Crags
Hebden Water at Blake Dean in Hardcastle Crags
View from Widdop Gate towards Blake Dean, Hardcastle Crags
Roe deer buck with antlers on Shackleton Hill above Hardcastle Crags
Meadow pipit in Crimsworth Dean, one of the most common birds on the fringes of the moor near Elmet Farmhouse
Glorious summer view over the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike in the distance
View of Elmet Farmhouse from the hay meadow
Vegetable gardn and herbaceous border in front of the barn next to Elmet Farmhouse
View from the dining terrace at Elmet Farmhouse
Cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse brimming with flowers
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well on a beautiful summer’s afternoon at the end of June
Racing pigones lined up on the roof of their loft on Shackleton Hill above Hardcastle Crags
Golden plover chick with beauitful iridescent plumage peeping plaintively on Wadsworth Moor
Curlew perched on a wall against a backdrop of buttercups
Sandpiper, another long-beaker wader which heads inland to the Yorkshire moors to breed
Fluffy Sandpiper chick camouflaged against the rocks on the river bank
View of Hardcastle Crags from Blake Dean near Widdop Gate
Blake Dean at the top end of Hardcastle Crags, with Hebden Water at the bottom of the steep-sided valley
Sculptural sandstone stack above Alcomden Water near Blake Dean in Hardcastle Crags
Sheep sheltering under a tree next to track above Alcomden Water near Hardcastle Crags
Four views of a vociferous lapwing chicknear Walshaw Reservoir at Walshaw Dean
Sandpiper on the rocky banks of Walshaw Reservoir at Walshaw Dean
High-stepping Greylag Goose on the banks of Walshaw Reservoir in Walshaw Dean
Greylag duckling dipping its toe in the water at Walshaw Reservoir in Walshaw Dean
View from Walshaw towards Blake Dean along Hardcastle Crags

Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

May 2019

Wild garlic and bluebells in Crimsworth Dean, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse
The ‘secret’ valley of Crimsworth Dean just below Elmet Farmhouse
Crimsworth Beck in Crimsworth Dean
Sun-drenched bluebells in Crimsworth Dean
Dry stone wall near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean
Heron in Crimsworth Dean
Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill with Heptonstall Church and Stoodley Pike
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge
Curlew on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse
Curlew on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean near Elmet Farmhouse
View over hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags
‘The Crags’ in the National Trust estate of Hardcastle Crags
Hardcastle Crags
View from ‘The Crags’ at Hardcastle Crags

Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags
Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags
Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags
Bluebells at Wddop Gate above Hardcastle Crags
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike
Pecket Well Clough below Elmet Farmhouse
Crimsworth Dean near Elmet Farmhouse
Skylark with insect in its beak on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Skylark with insect in its beak on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Skylark with insect in its beak on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike
Golden Plover chick near Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Golden Plover chick near Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Lapwing above Pecket Well
Staups Mill in Jumble Hole Clough near Hebden Bridge
Staups Mill in Jumble Hole Clough near Hebden Bridge
Jumble Hole Clough near Hebden Bridge
Jumble Hole Clough near Hebden Bridge
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike
Curlew in Crimsworth Dean
Curlew in Crimsworth Dean
Curlew in Crimsworth Dean
Curlew in Crimsworth Dean
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Hardcastle Crags in the valley below
Crimsworth Dean
Pied wagtail in Crimsworth Dean
Pied wagtail in Crimsworth Dean
Pied wagtail in Crimsworth Dean
Pied wagtail in Crimsworth Dean
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Hardcastle Crags below and Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon
View from Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall on the horizon
View from Elmet Farmhouse with Pecket Well War Memorial above Hardcastle Crags
Colden Water in Colden Clough near Heptonstall
Hebble Hole Bridge over Colden Water in Colden Clough near Heptonstall
Red campion in Colden Clough near Heptonstall
Heptonstall Church from Colden Clough
Wild flower meadow near Heptonstall above Hebden Bridge

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick


April 2019

Pair of new-born lambs at Shackleton above above Hardcastle Crags
\New-born lambs in early April at Walshaw above Hardcastle Crags
Walshaw Dean Reservoir
Bleached moorland grass on the banks of Walshaw Dean Reservoir
Courting curlews at Walshaw above Hardcastle Crags
Curlew close-ups – spindly legs and rapier-like beak
Northern Wheatear in Crimsworth Dean
Lapwing above Crimsworth Dean displaying its delicate crest
Forked crest of lapwing
A trio of oystercatchers at Leeshaw Reservoir near Oxenhope on the Haworth Old Road
Oystercatchers with their impressive long leg beaks and red eyes
Meadow pipit perched on barbed wire in Crimsworth Dean
Leafless trees in Hardcastle Crags
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well in early April with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon
Lower Gorple Reservoir from the moorland above on the Pennine Bridleway to Colden
Standing stone above Lower Gorple Reservoir
Crimsworth Dean from Grain Farm with Stoodley Pike in the distance
New season lambs
Limers Gate above Pecket Well in Easter heatwave
Swaledale sheep on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Swaledale sheep with lambs on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well, as hort walk from Elmet Farmhouse
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Hardcastle Crags in the valley overlooked by Heptonstall with Stoodley Pike beyond
Reservoir above Luddenden Dean
On the banks of the reservoirs above Luddenden Dean
Frosty April morning at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge
Stoodley Pike looking majestic perched above the Calder Valley
Heptonstall from Pecket Well War Memorial with Hardcastle Crags just starting to green up
Meadow pipit on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Pony in the field at Pecket Well near Elmet Farmhouse
Blackthorn in bloom in Pecket Well
Wild garlic in the woods in Crimsworth Dean
Crimsworth Dean in the April sunshine
Crimsworth Dean near Wheat Ing
Crimsworth Dean near Abel Cote
Looking towards Stoodley Pike from Shackleton Hill across Hardcastle Crags
New season lambs near Walshaw
Mallard with ducklings at Walshaw above Hardcastle Crags
A clutch of mallard ducklings at Wilcock Dam above Pecket Well
Looking across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw with leaves coming out on the trees
Bleached moorland grass above Walshaw
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge with leaves coming out on the trees
Standing stone on Wadsworth Moor
Mound of stones on Wadsworth Moor
Northern Wheatear on Wadsworth Moor
Skylark on Wadsworth Moor
The first bluebells in Hardcastle Crags in late April
Rocky outcrops in the woods in Hardcastle Crags
Old packhorse track running up the hillside in Hardcastle Crags

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

March 2019

Crimsworth Dean, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse
Crimsworth Dean looking along the valley from near Grain Water Bridge
Crimsworth Dean with a dusting of snow on the hillside
Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean near Elmet Farmhouse
The first lambs of the year above Hebden Bridge
New-born lamb on the hillside below Stoodley Pike
Starling hitching a ride on the back of a sheep near Horsehold above Hebden Bridge
Murmuration of starlings near Stone Booth Farm in Crimsworth Dean


Chaffinch
Lapwing newly returned to breed on the moorland above Crimsworth Dean
Oystercatchers on a wall at Walshaw Dean Reservoit above Hardcastle Crags
A copse of trees ringed by a drystone wall at Walshaw
Crimsworth Dean
Crimsworth Dean in the March sunshine
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with snow on the tops at Stoodley Pike
Early daffodils at Elmet Farmhouse
A host of golden daffodils at Elmet Farmhouse
Forsythia in full bloom at Elmet Farmhouse
Grass greening up in the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

February 2019

Stoodley Pike from Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well
Path across Wadsworth Moor from Deer Stones Edge to Luddenden Dean
Ventilation shaft for underground watercourse running beneath Wadsworth Moor carrying water from Widdop Reservoir to Halifax
Snow on Wadsworth Moor between Pecket Well and Luddenden Dean
Luddenden Dean from Wadsworth Moor
Snow on dry stone wall above Luddenden Dean
Frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean

Frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Tree shadows reflected in the ice of frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Luddenden Dean looking towards Castle Carr

Frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean photographed from opposite corner
‘We Two Together’: our shadows silhouetted in the frozen reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Second reservoir above Luddenden Dean, fuller and only partially frozen

Ice flow on reservoir above Luddenden Dean

Ice flow on reservoir above Luddenden Dean

Patterns in the ice on reservoir above Luddenden Dean
Sun on the snowy hillside near Stoodley Pike
Stoodley Pike with pattern of drystone walls in the snow photographed from above Old Town
Drystone walls and trees on snowy hillside above Hebden Bridge
Vew from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well in the snow with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall
Stoodley Pike from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well in the snow
Heptonstall above Hebden Bridge in the snow
Stoodley Pike and the hilltop village of Heptonstall above Hebden Bridge in the snow
Pecket Well in the snow from Plumpton Farm
View from Deer Stone Edge above Pecket Well with Heptonstall in the distance
Swaledale sheep on snowy hillside above Horsehold and Hebden Bridge
Hardy Swaledale sheep in the snow near Stoodley Pike
Snowscape with rushes en route to Stoodley Pike
The ascent to Stoodley Pike via the Pennine Way from Hebden Bridge
View towards Pecket Well from Pennine Way leading up to Stoodley Pike
Rows of drystone walls slicing through the snow above Horsehold and Hebden Bridge
Drytstone walls near Stoodley Pike
View towards Todmorden from the summit at Stoodley Pike

Wainsgate Baptist Chapel, Old Town near Hebden Bridge
Graveyard at Wainsgate Baptist Chapel, Old Town near Hebden Bridge
Hardcastle Crags from Akroyd Lane between Pecket Well and Old Town above Hebden Bridge
Snowy vista from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall
A beautiful gate in Pecket Well after heavy snow
River of Mist from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall

River of Mist in Hardcastle Crags with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall floating above
Stoodley Pike with River of Mist in Pecket Well Clough
Swathes of mist on the hillside above Hebden Bridge below Stoodley Pike
Mist drifting through Pecket Well Clough after freezing fog
River of Mist in Pecket Well Clough below Elmet Farmhouse with Stoodley Pike on the horizon
Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall Church floating above River of Mistin Hardcastle Crags
River of mist below Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge on 5 February 2019
Church in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salt’s Mill in Saltaire village UNESCO World Heritage Site
Blake Dean, Hardcastle Crags

Blake Dean, Hardcastle Crags
Winter beech trees in Hardcastle Crags National Trust estate near Hebden Bridge

Winter trees in Hardcastle Crags National Trust estate near Hebden Bridge
Sheep in Crimsworth Dean
Sunny February morning in Crimsworth Dean
Early morning mist in Crimsworth Dean

Early morning mist in Crimsworth Dean with Old Town Mill on hillside
Thrush in Crimsworth Dean near Hebden Bridge
Sheep grazing at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean
Kestrel in Crimsworth Dean near Elmet Farmhouse holiday cottage
Crimsworth Dean with Haworth Old Road ascending Stairs at the end
Grain Farm and Cross Ends in Crimsworth Dean
Looking towards Widdop from Walshaw Moor

Looking towards Widdop from Walshaw Moor
Trees near Walshaw Lodge above Hardcastle Crags
View across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw
Treeline above Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw
Donkeys at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Donkeys at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Goat at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Goat at Abel Cote Farm in Crimsworth Dean
Mist rising on a warm February morning in Crimsworth Dean

Mist on the hilltop meadows above Crimsworth Dean
Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean
Sheep near Grain Water Bridge in Crimsworth Dean

Sheep in Crimsworth Dean
First lapwings of the season newly arrived at Thurrish in Crimsworth Dean

First lapwings of the season newly arrived at Thurrish in Crimsworth Dean
Dunnock in Crimsworth Dean

Starlings in Crimsworth Dean
View from Deer Stones Edge across Wadsworth Moor

Misty morning on Deer Stones Edge across Wadsworth Moor
Greylag geese on Wilcock Dam above Pecket Well
Lonk sheep on farm above Pecket Well

Highland Cattle near Plumpton Farm above Pecket Well
View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall in the early morning sunshine
Pheasant at Elmet Farmhouse, Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge
Pheasant with stunning plumage

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

January 2019

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge on a frosty January morning
Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall with Hardcastle Crags in the valley below
The ancient village of Heptonstall on the hilltop opposite Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well
Stoodley Pike monument to the Battle of Waterloo on Langfield Edge above Hebden Bridge
Turneresque sunrise with moon sinking over Wadsworth Moor
A dusting of snow on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

Sunrise over Stoodley Pike from Deer Stones Edge on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Sunrise at High Brown Knoll on Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor at Pecket Well
Snowy view across Wadsworth Moor towards Widdop at sunrise
View across Hardcastle Crags to Slack Heptonstall from Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Snow-dusted Heptonstall village bathed in pink early morning sunshine
Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well at sunrise
Lower Gorple Reservoir from Heptonstall Moor
Fieldfare at Colden near Heptonstall
Coal tit on birdfeeder by the Rochdale Canal near Hebden Bridge
Four pheasants on the wall at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge
Winter view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Heptonstall Church and Stoodley Pike on the horizon above Hardcastle Crags
Roe deer grazing on the hillside in Crimsworth Dean near Hardcastle Crags
Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean
Ruins of Staups Mill in Jumble Hole Clough below Blackshaw Head
Remains of Staups Mill, an early 19th century textile mill in Jumble Hole Clough
Stone steps up steep hillside in Jumble Hole Clough, one of the spurs off the Calder Upper Valley
Beautifully crafted dry stone wall on the hillside above Mytholmroyd
Ancient packhorse track bounded by dry stone walls on the hillside above Mytholmroyd
Sunny winter’s morning at Blake Dean in Hardcastle Crags
Hebden Water running through the National Trust estate of Hardcastle Crags
Shadows cast by leafless trees in the winter sunshine in Hardcastle Crags
Chapel of St Thomas a Becket next to Church of St Thomas the Apostle in Heptonstall
13th century Chapel of St Thomas a Becket in Heptonstall with tower dating from 15th century
Inside the ruins of the Chapel of St Thomas a Becket in the ancient village of Heptonstall

Chapel of St Thomas a Becket in Heptonstall dating back to the 13th century
The grave of poet Sylvia Plath in Heptonstall Churchyard, with a posy of fresh flowers from the garden at Elmet Farmhouse on 17 January 2019
Crimsworth Dean in January with Stoodley Pike on the far horizon
Crimsworth Dean at dusk with full moon rising
Full moon over Crimsworth Dean
Snowy panorama from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well on 30 January 2019
Snow-covered trees at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well
Elmet Farmhouse – frozen outside, toasty indoors

Snow-laden trees near Sprutts Farm in Pecket Well

Swaledale sheep negotiating the snow on Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well
Swaledale sheep in the snow on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well
Foggy frosty morning in Crimsworth Dean
Snow-encrusted trees near Mididgehole in Crimsworth Dean
Snow-covered beech trees above one of the dams in Crimsworth Dean
Foggy frozen treescape in Crimsworth Dean – looks like someone has sifted flour on the woods
Looking up the steep snowy hillside near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean
Every branch and every twig encrusted with ice crystals in Crimsworth Dean
Entering the woods near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean to take the path up to Pecket Well
Crystallised beechnuts in Crimsworth Dean 31 January 2019

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Autumnwatch

Golden Glory

There are times in the year when the countryside around Elmet Farmhouse just looks so heart-achingly beautiful that you’d like to stop the clock! Late autumn is one of those moments. After the lush green of the fields and woodlands summer months, the landscape becomes a blaze of colour as the bracken takes on russet hues and the leaves on the trees turn diverse shades of copper-red and gold.

These photographs were taken on walks from Elmet Farmhouse in the beautiful National Trust woodlands of Hardcastle Crags, Pecket Well Clough and Crimsworth Dean during late October and early November. Whether you’re strolling down by the riverside, wending your way up the steep wooded hillsides or looking down on the woods from the meadows and crags above, the palette of autumnal colours is inspiring and makes your heart sing.

Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson

Snowmageddon

Snowmaggedon

2018 has been one of the snowiest winters we have ever known, with repeated snowfall from January right through to April. In late February and March we were hit by two onslaughts from the Beast from the East (see snow sculpture portrait below) bringing  icy blasts straight from Siberia. The combination of blizzards and strong winds caused deep snowdrifts on roads and footpaths, so our guests in Elmet Farmhouse were (happily) snowed in for several days.

 

The snow proved a big hit with our February half-term guests, who borrowed our vintage wooden sledge. The gently sloping fields at Elmet Farmhouse are ideal for sledging. Many of our visitors come from parts of the country which rarely see snow, whereas for us, 1000 ft up on top of the Pennines, it’s a fairly regular occurrence during the winter months. This year has been exceptional though and we’re not even sure whether we’ve seen the last of it yet. The last snowfall was over Easter.

 

  

 

© Text and photos copyright Lesley Jackson

Photos of the Month 2018

Elmet Farmhouse Photos of the Month: 2018

A choice selection of photos featuring views from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge and snapshots of the surrounding countryside and wildlife in and around the Upper Calder Valley

December 2018

The famous River of Mist from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall poking through the cloud on 4 December 2018

Sheep on Shackleton Hill on Christmas Eve with the converging valleys of Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags below

Slack Top and Stoodley Pike on a frosty Christmas Eve morning

Sunny winter’s day on Walshaw Moor with the purple hills of Widdop in the distance

Crimsworth Dean resplendent in the December sunshine

Grain Farm and Cross Ends in Crimsworth Dean

Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean in full flow after heavy rain

Near Stone Booth Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Haworth Old Road to White Hole Farm and Thurrish at the end of Crimsworth Dean

Frosty Christmas Eve views from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with pockets of mist in the valley 

Christmas Eve mist in Hardcastle Crags

Frost and mist on the bracken-covered slopes of Crimsworth Dean

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

November 2018

Everlasting autumn in Crimsworth Dean and Pecket Well Clough

Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike with autumnal colours in the wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags

Old Town Mill above Spring Wood in Hardcastle Crags

Looking across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw towards Slack Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

Path down through Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw

Looking up at Hardcastle Crags

Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge on 15 November 2018

Looking along Crimsworth Dean towards Stoodley Pike from Grain Farm

View from Walshaw Moor towards Widdop

On the tops above Crimsworth Dean

Sun streaming through the clouds onto the hilltop meadows of Crimsworth Dean

Dramatic shifting winter light effects on the tops at Walshaw and Slack above Hardcastle Crags

Serene sunset at Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon on 24 November 2018

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

October 2018

Dawn breaks in Hardcastle Crags singeing the rocky outcrops at Blake Dean 

Frosted bracken and russet trees at Blake Dean in Hardcastle Crags

Fiery autumn colours in Hardcastle Crags

Sun rising over frosted bracken at Blake Dean in Hardcastle Crags

Alcomden Water meets Graining Water to form Hebden Water at Blake Dean

Beech leaves turning from green to amber to burnt gold

Dazzling autumn colours at Blake Dean

A blaze of colour at Blake Dean

Mellow autumn scene in Hardcastle Crags

Early morning sunshine spilling over the steep slopes of Hardcastle Crags

Graining Water  just before it merges with Alcomden Water at Blake Dean

Hardcastle Crags autumn sequence

Wooded knoll with rocky outcrops, hence the name Hardcastle Crags

Autumn treescapes – aerial views from Hardcastle Crags

Footpath up to Hardcastle Crags

Bracken, moss and autumn leaves in Hardcastle Crags

Gibson Mill and autumn trees reflected in the dams at Hardcastle Crags

A carpet of beech leaves at Hardcastle Crags

Cascading waterfall at Hardcastle Crags

Messing about by the river – an autumn walk by Hebden Water through Hardcastle Crags

Tree-mendous autumn colours this year in Hardcastle Crags

Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill above Crimsworth Dean

Autumn glory in Crimsworth Dean

Packhorse trail through Pecket Well Clough from Crimsworth Dean

Looking along Crimsworth Dean from near Grain Water bridge

View towards Blake Dean and Widdop from Walshaw Moor

Multicoloured autumn landscape from Walshaw Moor

Kestrel at Walshaw above Hardcastle Crags 

Trees turning autumnal in Hardcastle Crags, Stoodley Pike on the horizon

Slack Top and Stoodley Pike from Walshaw with Hardcastle Crags below

Green sward on Shackleton Hill above the converging valleys of Hebden Dale and Crimsworth Dean

Cow doing a meet and greet near Abel Cote in Crimsworth Dean

Early morning vista from Elmet Farmhouse: autumnal tones in Pecket Well Clough, pink sky behind Stoodley Pike

Pinkish hues on the moor above Crimsworth Dean

Early morning sunshine bathing the hills above Crimsworth Dean

Looking down on Stairs from the uplands above Crimsworth Dean

Far end of Crimsworth Dean with Thurrish to the left, White Hole Farm to the right

Early mist morning clearing in Crimsworth Dean

Hazy autumn light in Crimsworth Dean with Stoodley Pike on the horizon

Autumn trees lining Crimsworth Dean Beck

Fiery bracken on the ascent from Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean 

Glorious autumn colours at Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean 

Autumn colours in Crimsworth Dean

Late afternoon sunshine splashing the hilltops above Crimsworth Dean

Fungi in Crimsworth Dean

Views across Hardcastle Crags towards Stoodley Pike on a bright autumn day

The snaking wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags

Stepping stones in Hardcastle Crags

An autumn stroll through Hardcastle Crags with Hebden Water racing through Hebden Dale

Crescent moon rising over Stoodley Pike

Autumn is golden at Elmet Farmhouse – looking across the meadow towards Hardcastle Crags with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

Elmet Farmhouse bathed in autumn sunshine

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

September 2018

Moorland ablaze, aesthetically rather than literally, on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

The last of the heather and the first of the autumn hues on Wadsworth Moor with Stoodley Pike on the far horizon

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge, with Hardcastle Crags in the valley below

Early morning sunshine picking up the purple hues around Stoodley Pike on Langfield Edge

The ancient village of Heptonstall illuminated by the early autumn light

The tranquil valley of Luddenden Dean

Luddenden Dean in the September sunshine

Gatekeepers’ lodges from the Castle Carr estate in Luddenden Dean

Handloom weavers cottage in the ancient hamlet of Wainstalls above Luddenden Dean

Two baby tigers on the loose above Wainstalls at Fly! Kite Festival

Aquatic creatures take to the skies at Fly! Kite Festival on the tops above Luddenden Dean

Deep sea diver in a flap at Fly! Kite Festival

Surreal and saucy – stockinged legs on the loose above Wainstalls

Wallace and Gromit join in the fun at at Fly! Kite Festival

Squid’s in- cruising above the  hilltop meadow at Fly! Kite Festival

A trio of snakes crusing above Wainstalls at Fly! Kite Festival

Hardcastle Crags, the National Trust estate running through Hebden Dale

Hebden Water, the river running through Hardcastle Crags to Hebden Bridge

One of three footbridges crisscrossing Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags

Trees spilling over the river banks in Hardcastle Crags

A canopy of green in the beautiful wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags

Bracken on the turn in Hardcastle Crags

Hardcastle Crags is internationally renowned for its fungi

The gorge-like valley of Hardcastle Crags provides the perfect breeding ground for fungi 

Late September and October are the best time for a fungi foray in Hardcastle Crags

Colourful and characterful fungi sprouting up everywhere in Hardcastle Crags

Bright cloud bubbling up above the foaming woodland of Hardcastle Crags

The hilltop village of Heptonstall directly opposite Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

Stoodley Pike lording it over the Upper Calder Valley

Bucolic view along Crimsworth Dean with Stoodley Pike in the distance

Crimsworth Dean from Grain Farm

Early morning sun spilling over the steep sloping meadows of Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Looking towards Stairs at the far end of Crimsworth Dean

Looking towards Hardcastle Crags and Stoodley Pike along Crimsworth Dean

Crimsworth Dean

September sunshine on the sensuous contours of Crimsworth Dean

Looking across to Slack Top across Hardcastle Crags

Looking down on the dense woodland of Hardcastle Crags

Hardcastle Crags. Slack Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

Sheep grazing on the hilltop meadows above Hardcastle Crags

Stoodley Pike from Shackleton Hill 

Mown hay meadows on the tops above Hardcastle Crags

Late silaging at Shackleton to compensate for the lack of hay during the long hot summer

Haymaking above Hardcastle Crags

Vibrant green hilltop meadows at Shackleton with Stoodley Pike in the distance

The chimney of Old Town Mill above the steep wooded slopes of Crimsworth Dean

View from Shackleton Hill, where Crimsworth Dean merges with Hebden Dale

View along Crimsworth Dean from Shackleton Hill

Woodland and meadows in Crimsworth Dean

Old Town Mill on the hilltop at Wadsworth with Crimsworth Dean in the valley below

Farms strung along the shoulder of the hills in Crimsworth Dean

Augurs of autumn below Widdop Gate in Hardcastle Crags

Blake Dean in Hardcastle Crags

View towards Blake Dean from Widdop Gate

The precipitous slopes of Hardcastle Crags at Widdop Gate

Early morning on Wadsworth Moor

Rocky outcrops on Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

View across the Upper Calder Valley from Wadsworth Moor towards Stoodley Pike

© Photographphs copyright Lesley Jackson

August 2018

Dramatic rocky outcrops on Great Edge above Widdop

Widdop Reservoir from Great Edge

Gritstone outcrops emerging from the heather at Widdop

On the rocks at Great Edge above Widdop Reservoir

Upturned  rocks at Great Edge

Widdop Reservoir from Great Edge with the road snaking past

Weathered  boulders at Great Edge

An elemental landscape sculpted by the weather at Great Edge

Great Edge above Widdop Reservoir

View from Great Edge looking over the moor towards Blake Dean and Hardcastle Crags

Looking back along Great Edge with Widdop Reservoir below

Gritstone rocks scattered along Great Edge above Widdop Reservoir

Low tide at Widdop Reservoir after the prolonged summer drought

Bracken, rocks, heather moorland and high hilltop meadows at Widdop

A blade of gritstone cutting through the heather on Widdop Moor

The beach at Widdop Reservoir exposed after a summer of minimal rainfall

Vibrant purple heather on Walshaw Moor above Hardcastle Crags

Heather-clad clough high up on Walshaw Moor

Heather moorland at Walshaw with Hardcastle Crags in the valley below

Roe deer high up on the moor between Crimsworth Dean and Walshaw

A stag and a hind silhouetted against the skyline

Roe deer on Walshaw Moor

View over the heather on Walshaw Moor

Crimsworth Dean looking towards Stoodley Pike

Heptonstall Church peeping over the hill at the far end of Crimsworth Dean

View along Crimsworth Dean from Grain Farm

Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean

Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean

Much-needed rain greening up the hilltop meadows at Pecket Well, triggering swathes of mist in Hardcastle Crags

Roe deer on Wadsworth Moor

Hare in field above Pecket Well

The last of this season’s lapwings

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

July 2018

Barn Owl on one of his regular dusk hunting missions around Pecket Well

The hay meadows at Elmet Farmhouse provide a rich hunting ground

Field mice and voles offer rich pickings for the Barn Owl, who takes them back to the nest and feed his chicks

July was incredibly dry so the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse turned whiter and whiter each day

Kestrel in Crimsworth Dean

Buzzard riding the thermals over Crimsworth Dean

Lapwing chick in Crimsworth Dean, the last of this year’s fledglings

Curlew hidden among the long grass in Crimsworth Dean

Curlew hanging out with the sheep in Crimsworth Dean, the long grass provides cover

View along Hebden Dale and Hardcastle Crags towards Hebden Bridge from Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill

Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike from Pecket Well War Memorial during this summer’s drought

Crimsworth Dean looking incredibly parched during the long hot dry summer

Bleached meadows above the green wooded valley of Crimsworth Dean

Sheep sheltering from the sun under a tree at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Willow warbler catches an insect among the bracken in Crimsworth Dean

Willow warbler with an insect in its beak in Crimsworth Dean

Meadow pipits are ubiquitous throughout the area, particularly in Crimsworth Dean

Meadow pipits are often seen on the high meadows and up on the moorland alongside the skylarks

Meadow pipit with a juicy morsel

Another idyllic summer evening at Elmet Farmhouse, one of many this year

The evening light from the west bathing the hay meadow and spilling over the hills

Highland cattle in Pecket Well – alarming horns but tranquil temperament

Highland cattle near Sprutts Farm in Pecket Well, overlooking Pecket Well War Memorial and Hardcastle Crags

Mini-beasts: Highland cattle calves

Pair of Herdwick sheep on Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well

A rare sighting of a Redpoll at Colden

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

June 2018

Little Owl giving me the hard stare near Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Ahem, are you looking at me?

Little owls frequent this particular spot below Cross Ends in Crimsworth Dean and even have a cottage named after them

On the wire – kestrel suveying its hunting grounds in Crimsworth Dean

Golden plover on the moor above Crimsworth Dean

Golden plover amongst the bog cotton

Bog cotton near the Haworth Old Road at Stairs above Crimsworth Dean, a haven for Golden Plovers

Golden plovers amongst the bog cotton in the early morning sunshine

Crimsworth Dean is Curlew Country

Curlew in fine voice in Crimsworth Dean

Curlew making a hue and cry

Curlew on a mission, striding through the hilltop meadow at Thurrish above Crimsworth Dean

Oystercatcher stepping out in Crimsworth Dean

Lapwing near Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well

Recently fledged lapwing chick with small crest

Female pheasant on the moorland near White Hole Farm above Crimsworth Dean

Crimsworth Dean resplendent in the early morning sunshine

Foxgloves in Crimsworth Dean – who needs a garden?

The sensuous contours of Crimsworth Dean – a valley that never disappoints

Crimsworth Dean and the uplands beyond

Perfect end to the day at Elmet Farmhouse – Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon

Early evening sunshine on the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well

Looking across the fields from Elmet Farmhouse towards Pecket Well War Memorial and Hardcastle Crags

Hebden Water running through Hardcastle Crags towards Blake Dean

Climbing up the steps from Blake Dean through the bracken

Blake Dean at the far end of the National Trust estate of Hardcastle Crags

Looking down on Hebden Water from Widdop Gate towards the wooded section of Hardcastle Crags

Blake Dean from Widdop Gate at midsummer

‘To the Crags’ – the rocky outcrops on the top of wooded knolls that give Hardcastle Crags its name

Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags

Gibson Mill reflected in the millpond

Beech grove in Hardcastle Crags

Footbridge crossing Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags

Hebden Water

Bridges crisscross the river in Hardcastle Crags

Although the river levels are low this summer, these bridges have been regularly washed by floods in the past

Hardcastle Crags in all its verdant summer glory

Bracken-covered slopes of Hardcastle Crags near Widdop Gate

Two small reservoirs on the tops above Luddenden Dean

Sun glistening on the water in the sunken reservoir above Luddenden Dean, a wildlife oasis

Looking down on Crimsworth Dean from High Greave

Hay meadows at Thurrish Farm above Crimsworth Dean

Crimsworth Dean from near Grain Water Bridge

Spring view along Crimsworth Dean towards Stoodley Pike

Big skies above Grain Farm and Cross Ends in Crimsworth Dean

Meadow pipit with a juicy morsel in Crimsworth Dean

Looking up through the hay meadow towards Elmet Farmhouse in early June

Cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse in June

A constellation of candelabra primulas in the garden at Elmet Farmhouse – pinky orange Harlow Carr just love it here!

Eating out at altitude – dining room with a view at Elmet Farmhouse

Hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse in peak condition at the end of June

Bleached fields near Heptonstall as the drought starts to take hold

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Pecket Well, with Elmet Farmhouse hay meadow looking more like a field of wheat in the foreground 

Lapwings come to breed and rear their chicks on the uplands above Hebden Bridge each year

June is the best time to see lapwings at close quarters as the fledgling chicks are still on the ground

Lapwings abound on the fringes of the moor above valleys such as Crimsworth Dean

Golden plovers are another of the ground-nesting birds that return to the area each year to breed

It’s only when you see them close up that you can admire thee golden plumage that gives these plovers their name

Other coastal birds such as oystercatchers also head inland to the Pennine moors to breed

Bog cotton near Limers Gate on Wadsworth Moor

As its name suggests, bog cotton thrives on the blanket bog on the moor

Curlew among the bog cotton on Wadsworth Moor, another of the ground-nesting birds that favours this area to breed

Snipe at Wilcock Dam about Pecket Well, with its extraordinarily long beak

Lapwing in Crimsworth Dean

Curlew perched on a wall in Crimsworth Dean

A remarkably cooperative curlew posing in Crimsworth Dean

The early morning light and blue sky make for good photographs

The curlew’s long curved beak is ideal for digging into the ground for worms

Curlew at Thurrish, one of the highest farms in Crimsworth Dean

Curlew in the buttercup meadow at Thurrish in Crimsworth Dean

Juvenile pied wagtail near White Hole Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Goldfinch in Pecket Well

Greenfinch in Pecket Well

One of the many warm sunny evenings we enjoyed this year at Elmet Farmhouse

Beautiful soft evening sunshine on the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike in the distance beyond Hardcastle Crags

Roe deer kid born in the field at Elmet Farmhouse at the end of the May, growing fast, changing colour and becoming more independent during June

River of mist at Elmet Farmhouse on 10 June 2018

The swirling mist shifts around in the valley minute by minute, as this photographic sequence shows

Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike hovering above the river of mist

Sun trying to break through, creating a pinkish glow

The view framed by plants in the garden

An atmospheric view of Heptonstall church

Homage to Fay Godwin’s photograph of Heptonstall on the cover of Ted Hughes’s Remains of Elmet

The bigger picture, taking in Pecket Well War Memorial as well as Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

View from Elmet Farmhouse with cows in the foreground and a river of mist in Hardcastle Crags below Pecket Well War Memorial

Lumb Bank, an 18th century millowner’s house, once owned by Ted Hughes, now the Yorkshire base for the Arvon Foundation

Arched recesses for beehives built into the hillside below stables at Lumb Bank in Colden Clough

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

May 2018

Bluebellerama!

A sequence of photos taken in Hardcastle Crags during May

…when the bluebells were at their peak

This year the bluebell season was short but sweet…

The start of the bluebell season was delayed by the long winter…

… and the length of the bluebell season was curtailed by the extraordinarily hot dry spring

Bluebells amongst the ferns

The dramatic steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags in spring

Bluebells aboung on the slippery slopes of Hebden Dale (aka Hardcastle Crags)

Heavenly walkway through the bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

Narrow path through the bluebells on the precarious upper slopes of Hardcastle Crags

It’s the ground that’s sloping, not the camera!

Intoxicating aroma and good enough to eat

A deep pile carpet of bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

Bluebells cascading down the hillside in Hardcastle Crags

Bluebells and stitchwort, the perfect combination

Three views of Stoodley Pike, here with bog cotton in the foreground

You can tell it’s a dry spring – look at this sandy path along the ridge to Stoodley Pike

Blue skies behind Stoodley Pike – the perfect day for an ascent with the reward of magnificent views

Pecket Well Mill across a buttercup meadow

Wild flower meadow in Pecket Well with red clover in the foreground

Green, yellow and white – the multi-coloured meadows of Pecket Well

Wild flower meadow with abundant clover below Purprise Farm on the slopes of Crimsworth Dean

Highland cattle near Sprutts Farm in Pecket Well

View from above Pecket Well village towards War Memorial and Hardcastle Crags

Hilltop hay meadows full of buttercups at Pecket Well with Heptonstall beyond

18th century Elmet Farmhouse with peonies and chaerophyllum in the foreground

Cottage garden in full bloom at Elmet Farmhouse at the end of May with irises and aquilegia

Harlow Carr hybrid candelabra primula coming into flower in the garden at Elmet Farmhouse

Idyllic early evening scene at Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well with roe deer in hay meadow

Watchful roe deer hind amongst the saplings at the bottom of the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse

Roe deer hind surveying us from the bottom of the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse, having just given birth to triplets, which she doesn’t want us to find

New-born roe deer kid with beautiful markings no bigger than a kitten, curled up in long grass at the bottom of the field at Elmet Farmhouse

We thought there was only one kid but we later discovered that there were three!

The proud (and protective) mother of the infant roe deer above

Watchful roe deer hind in the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse

Roe deer hind with early evening sunshine on the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse

Triple take – Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill in the foreground, Heptonstall Church on horizon and Stoodley Pike floating in the mist

Looking over a buttercup meadow towards Old Town

Disembodied mill chimneys near Lumb Bank in Colden Clough

Stoodley Pike from across the Calder Valley near Blackshaw Head

Stile above Todmorden

Stone-paved causeway through the bilberries and heather above Todmorden

Early morning sunshine in Crimsworth Dean

A perfect spring morning in Crimsworth Dean

Lambs sunning themselves on the steep slopes of Crimsworth Dean

Meadow pipit in Hardcastle Crags

Bridge over Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags

Cliff-like banks in the river gorge in the heart of Hardcastle Crags

Newly-unfurled leaves on the trees on the riverbank in Hardcastle Crags

Looking over Hardcastle Crags from the Widdop Road

Golden meadow by Pecket Well Mill, just across the road from Elmet Farmhouse

Cottage garden in the spring at Elmet Farmhouse

Geums in the cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse

Chaerophyllum thrives in the cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse

Stoodley stoat, spotted on the slopes of Stoodley Pike

Although it’s early May, he’s still wearing his white bib and tucker as it’s been a long hard winter

Stoodley Pike from Mankinholes

Blue skies over Stoodley Pike – spring has finally sprung

Gadding about at Gaddings – the beach in the corner of the hilltop reservoir

Gaddings Dam, hidden away on top of the moor above Todmorden

May Bank Holiday – blue skies reflected in the reservoir

Stoodley Pike just visible on the horizon across Gaddings Dam

Rushes on the edge of Gaddings Dam

Stoodley Pike on the skyline on beautiful day in early May

Meadow pipit on Wadsworth Moor above Elmet Farmhouse

Glorious early spring view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with the leaves just coming out on the trees in Pecket Well Clough and Hardcastle Crags

Swaledale ewe and lambs at Plumpton Farm in Pecket Well

A cosy nook for two Swaledale lambs

The toad he went a-courting

New foliage unfurling on the trees below Walshaw in Hardcastle Crags

View across Hardcastle Crags with Slack Heptonstall on the ridge and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

Hazy May day in Crimsworth Dean with Old Town Mill chimney on the hillside

The first bluebells of the season unfurling in Hardcastle Crags

Bluebells taking hold in Hardcastle Crags

A sea of bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

Beech trees in Crimsworth Dean

A river of ramsons in Crimsworth Dean

Or a gorge of wild garlic, take your pick

Crimsworth Dean, looking towards Midgehole

Fifty shades of green on Shackleton Hill

Tiptoe through the bluebells in Crimsworth Dean

Bluebells on the steep slopes of Hardcastle Crags

Cuckoo flower in Crimsworth Dean

A flotilla of ducklings in one of the dams in Crimsworth Dean

The first cut: early haymaking in Crimsworth Dean

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

April 2018

Sun burning off the early morning mist in Crimsworth Dean 

Percy the Pheasant on the garden wall at Elmet Farmhouse

Percy’s handsome plumage

Blue skies on a cold frosty morning in Crimsworth Dean

Sheep in Crimsworth Dean

Icy wall in Crimsworth Dean

Crimsworth Dean on a crisp April morning

Valley slopes below Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Ice-coated dry stone wall in Crimsworth Dean

Winter meets spring: frost-coated green meadows

Long shadows cast by a leafless tree in Crimsworth Dean

Snow-capped Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean

Hungry sheep chasing farmer delivering fodder in Crimsworth Dean

Crimsworth Dean with Grain Farm in the foreground and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

Pied wagtail in Crimsworth Dean

New-born lamb in Crimsworth Dean 18 April 2018

Digging in the dugs with their tails wagging behind them

Pooped, one and all!

Blue tit heralding the spring with a good old sing!

Pecket Well blue tit

Stoodley Pike from Wadsworth Moor with early morning mist in the Calder Valley

Skylark with crest, all-pervasive on the moors above Elmet Farmhouse but almost impossible to photograph

Formation lambs at Colden

More of a free-for-all at Colden

New-born lambs at Colden, all present and correct

Twins snuggling up together in Crimsworth Dean

‘I’m all ears!’ Curious lamb at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Swaledale lambs literally tucking in near Hilltop Farm at Pecket Well

New-born Swaledale lamb in Pecket Well

‘Just stretching my legs’

Billy Goat Gruff in Crimsworth Dean

Oystercatcher in Crimsworth Dean, dirty beak belies a recent spell of digging

Top o’ the world- Big skies on the tops above Crimsworth Dean

From moor to meadow – no mistaking the division with the shift in colour

Bright skies and skudding clouds on the path over to Walshaw from Crimsworth Dean

Yorkshire palette in April: bright green hilltop meadow and bleached tussocky moorland

Crimsworth Dean lambs near White Hole Farm

Mother and child standing their ground in Crimsworth Dean

New-born twins, still a bit wrinkly until their creases drop out

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

March 2018

Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been snowy!

Very snowy!

These are the snowdrifts just outside the door…

And these are the drifts around one of the doorways

The culprit! Also known as The Beast from the East!

Walking has been somewhat challenging as many pathways were blocked…

But it was a bit more sheltered under the trees

This was the scene at Crimsworth Beck, just along from Midgehole

Hidden beneath the snow and ice is a dam in Crimsworth Dean

View from packhorse bridge at Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean

Looking along the river downstream in Crimsworth Dean

As well as the snow, there were some stupendous icicles

Crimsworth Dean near the converegence with Hardcastle Crags

Deep snow drifts against the dry stone walls in Pecket Well

Footpath through the top field at Elmet Farmhouse

Snowy wallscape

Pecket Well War Memorial with yet another coating of snow 

Kittling Bridge in Pecket Well Clough

Packhorse track over Kittling Bridge in Pecket Well Clough

Atmospheric misty morning looking downstream in Pecket Well Clough

The dramatic view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

Sun breaking through over Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

Sunlight bouncing off the snow-capped Pennine hills

Finally a thaw. Up on the tops near White Hole Farm above Crimsworth Dean

Ruined barn on the fringes of the moor, looking towards Stairs in Crimsworth Dean

Amidst all the snow, the lapwings are settling into their spring quarters in Crimsworth Dean

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

February 2018

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well on a snowy February morning with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

Sunrise over Stoodley Pike

Dappled pink early morning sun on the snowy ridge of Deer Stones Edge above Pecket Well

Snowy moorland below Limers Gate

Sunrise at High Brown Knoll on Limers Gate above Pecket Well

Gorple Reservoirs from Wadsworth Moor at sunrise

Wilcock Dam above Pecket Well Mill

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall from Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

Pecket Well War Memorial just poking up above the trees from across the fields at Elmet Farmhouse

Elmet Farmhouse with snowy fields and vivid blue sky

View from Elmet Farmhouse over the fields towards Hardcastle Crags, Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

The same view but a wider panorama, incorporating Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill on the right

Spoilt for choice with the spectacular views of snow-capped Pennine hills from Elmet Farmhouse this month

The village of Heptonstall perched on the hilltop opposite Elmet Farmhouse 

Stoodley Pike towering over the Calder Valley,  as seen from Elmet Farmhouse

Frosty morning in Crimsworth Dean near Grain Water Bridge

Pair of trees in Crimsworth Dean casting spider’s web shadows

Drystone walls running up the snowy hillside near Stoodley Pike with moody skies

Triple whammy: Pecket Well War Memorial echoing the obelisk form of Stoodley Pike with Heptonstall sandwiched in between

Frozen bullrushes on dam in Crimsworth Dean

Sun hitting the steep snowy hillside near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean 

A beautifully crafted drystone wall running up the hillside in Crimsworth Dean

A dusting of snow in Crimsworth Dean

Late winter sunshine bouncing off the meadows in Crimsworth Dean

Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean with heather moorland above

Drystone walls and leafless trees at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

On the tops above Walshaw looking towards Blake Dean at the head of Hardcastle Crags

Gorple and Widdop Reservoirs beyond Blake Dean at the far end of Hardcastle Crags

A row of leafless trees heralding the approach to Walshaw Lodge above Hardcastle Crags

Looking across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw with Slack Heptonstall on the ridge and Stoodley Pike beyond

Hazy February afternoon in Crimsworth Dean, looking along the valley towards Stoodley Pike

Pair of leafless trees at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

Big sky above the three reservoirs at Walshaw Dean

Snowy hillside on the tops above Hebden Bridge

Sunset from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Hardcastle Crags in the valley and Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the far hilltops – 27 February 2018

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

January 2018

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall Church on the horizon

Crimsworth Dean on a frosty January morning

Grain Farm and Cross Ends Farm in Crimsworth Dean

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well with sun streaming through the clouds over Heptonstall

The village of Hpetonstall from Pecket Well

Expectant ewes on Shackleton Hill in Hardcastle Crags

Bracken-covered slopes of Hardcastle Crags at Blake Dean

Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean

Crimsworth Dean above Midgehole

Winter sunshine on Shackleton Hill from Crimsworth Dean

View along Crimsworth Dean near Grain Water Bridge

Afternoon sunshine in Crimsworth Dean – still full of colour even in the middle of winter

Bracken in Crimsworth Dean near Lumb Falls

© Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

Heavenly Heather

Heavenly Heather

“I have fled my country and gone to the heather” 

Emily Brontë

Emily Brontë was right. August is the time to head to the hills and immerse yourself in the glorious heather moorlands. Because the hillsides of the Upper Calder Valley are so steep, the carpet of heather on the plateau-like uplands is barely visible from down in the dales. It’s only when you venture up onto ‘the tops’ beyond the hay meadows on the shoulders of the hills that you encounter the purple haze.

Good spots for heather walks are Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well, Midgley Moor above Luddenden Dean, Heptonstall Moor above Colden, and Walshaw Dean and Widdop Reservoir above Hardcastle Crags. On a hot summer’s day with the sweet scent of the heather and the bees buzzing all around as they gather the nectar for honey, it’s an intoxicating sensory experience and a visual spectacle not to be missed.

High Waving Heather
Emily Brontë

High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars;
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
Man’s spirit away from its drear dongeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.

All down the mountain sides, wild forest lending
One mighty voice to the life-giving wind;
Rivers their banks in the jubilee rending,
Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
Wider and deeper their waters extending,
Leaving a desolate desert behind.

Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
Changing for ever from midnight to noon;
Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.

13 December 1836

High Summer on Midgley Moor

The moorland  above Luddenden Dean is carpeted with heather, which blooms throughout the month of August and into early September.  As the heather comes into flower, the moors take on a vivid purple hue, which becomes more and more intense. 

These photographs were taken on a walk from Pecket Well to Luddenden Dean over Wadsworth Moor and Midgley Moor. Perched on the hilltop overlooking the Luddenden valley are two small reservoirs where the heather grows right up to the water’s edge. 

Walking on the Wild Side at Widdop

Two hikes near Widdop above Hardcastle Crags in mid August with the heather in full bloom.

First walk along Great Edge, the ridge above Widdop Reservoir, early one sunny morning. Tramping through the heather via a series of  rocky outcrops known variously as Slack Stones, Raven Stones and The Scout that lead up to Great Edge. Beyond, a sea of heather on Widdop Moor, sliced through in the distance by the blade-like rocks of Dove Stones.

Returning along a bridlepath by the shores of Widdop Reservoir. The low water levels revealing sand and rocks give the impression of a beach. Looming above, the sheer cliffs below Great Edge. Very few humans, just a solitary buzzard and a few skylarks.

Second walk starting at Widdop Gate and climbing up to Gorple Lower Reservoir via Low Moor and King Common Rough, looking down on the narrow gorge of Graining Water. Ascending over the tussocky slopes of Flask to Cludders Slack, a fine vantage point high up above Widdop Reservoir at 390 metres, with dramatic views  towards Great Edge. 

Circling the shores of Widdop Reservoir, then cutting across to Alcomden Water and along to Blake Dean at the top end of Hardcastle Crags. A blustery afternoon which started out with dark brooding skies but culminated in bright warm sunshine. Captivating light effects on the purple hills and the steep lush heather-covered slopes of Blake Dean.

© Text copyright Lesley Jackson

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Deer oh Deer!

Deer oh Deer!

 

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This beautiful roe deer…

 

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… gave birth to this tiny kid in the hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse in early June 2016

 

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Mother and child doing well – here’s the kid having a feed

 

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And this is where it all happened – in the long grass of our hay meadow – with the backdrop of Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike. You can see just see the hind in the field on the lower right….

 

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And here she is leaping through the buttercups and sorrel, circling round protectively while her kid is curled up in the grass

 

Getting down with the kids!

 

As if 2016 wasn’t good enough, in 2017 our resident roe deer hind produced twins and in 2018  we were blessed with triplets. Presumably it’s the same hind who has returned, or possibly one of her grown-up kids. Either way, she clearly feels at home in the hay meadows at Elmet Farmhouse as she has chosen to  establish her nursery here again.

We spotted the twins in early June 2017 among the long grass with their mother but at that stage they were hard to see. It wasn’t until the hay  was cut in mid July that we were able to take some photographs in the late evening sunshine at the bottom of the field near our newly-planted trees.

The images from late May 2018 show one of the new-born triplets curled up in a ball. Another photograph taken a few weeks later shows how the kid has grown.

 

Roe Deer

Roe deer are regularly spotted in the wooded valleys around Hebden Bridge, especially early in the morning, sometimes venturing into the hilltop meadows or up onto the moors. The stags have small antlers and, when alarmed, they make a loud barking noise that echoes for miles around. These photographs were taken in Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags.

 

 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Making Hay while the Sun Shines

Making hay while the sun shines

 

 

The fields surrounding Elmet Farmhouse are grown for hay each summer. As well as feathery grasses, they are full of wild flowers, including buttercups and sorrel. During the spring they turn from bright green to golden yellow tinged with red, providing a wonderful backdrop to the cottage garden. Watching the meadows grow to their full height is one of the pleasures of midsummer.

 

 

Hay-making normally takes place at Elmet from mid July to early August, depending on the weather. Roger and William Tennant from Horse Hey Farm just along the road at Crimsworth Dean cut and bale the hay for use as winter feed by their cattle. Their brother Jonathan, who delivers milk to the farmhouse, also lends a hand.

After the grass has been cut, it is left to dry for a day or two, then turned so it dries out more. The cut grass is then gathered up into long rows so that it can be sucked up and compacted into bales. The bales are stacked up in the field, before being loaded onto trailers and driven off to the farm.

That’s it for another year. All that’s left behind is pale stubble. But the grass is so lush that it soon starts growing again. Within a week or two the fields are green once more.

 

 

Haymaking August 2016