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

Brimham Rocks

Rocking out at Brimham

The weird and wonderful rock formations at Brimham Rocks are one of the geological marvels of Yorkshire. Sculpted by the elements over hundreds of millions of years, they loom up out of the heather moorland high up above Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge.

Defying gravity, these monumental sandstone forms were once thought to man-made, so curious and unlikely are their shapes. But their extraordinary sculptural forms are an entirely natural phenomenon, the result of abrasion and erosion by wind, rain and ice.

Dotted in clusters over 400 acres, it takes several hours to see all rocks – and longer if you want to climb up on top or explore their nooks and crannies. Each rock is different in character and they completely change in shape when viewed from different angles.

A firm favourite with children, a challenge for climbers and a delight for naturalists, Brimham Rocks is managed by the National Trust and provides a great day out from Elmet Farmhouse. Geologists will be in seventh heaven and artists and photographers will be inspired.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks

Text and photographs 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

The Old Ways – Limers Gate

An invigorating early morning hike from Elmet Farmhouse to watch the sunrise on Limers Gate above the village of Pecket Well. Crisp snow, blue skies and pinkish light on the hills beyond Crimsworth Dean.

Initially climbing up onto Wadsworth Moor along Deer Stones Edge, then up to the trig point at High Brown Knoll, which has been painted with a red heart. From here, walking along Limers Gate in fairly deep snow, the path rather difficult to follow. Amazingly clear views all the way to Upper and Lower Gorple Reservoirs and beyond to Widdop Reservoir, the dam clearly visible covered in snow and the water bright blue.

Dropping down off the ridge to Wilcock Dam, wonderful colour contrasts between the orange grass and the pristine white snow, the dam astonishingly vivid blue. Sublime views of Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike during the descent to Pecket Well.

7  February 2018