September Hikes

Landscape and wildlife photographs taken during September in the hills and dales around the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge. A walkers’ paradise and wildlife haven in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire, on the doorstep at Elmet Farmhouse holiday cottage at Pecket Well, above Hebden Bridge, near Hardcastle Crags, Haworth and the Yorkshire Dales.

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

Summer Saunters

July jaunts in the 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.

Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Birds of many Feathers

Birds of many feathers flock together in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge                                                                                                                                   

Whether you’re a serious birdwatcher or simply enjoy observing garden birds, there’s a wealth of birdlife in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge. Because of its hilltop location, Elmet Farmhouse is the perfect place for birdwatching. Surrounded by meadows, with woods and rivers in the valley below and open moorland on the uplands above, there’s an unusually diverse array of species in close proximity.

From golden plovers, lapwings and curlews up on ‘the tops’, to kestrels, swallows and pheasants in the fields, to woodpeckers, tawny owls and treecreepers in the woods and herons, dippers and grey wagtails by the river, there’s great scope for bird-watching in the Upper Calder Valley. These photos record some of the birds we’ve encountered locally in the last few years.

Blue Tits

Barn Owls

Black-headed Gulls

Blackbirds

Buzzards

Canada Geese

Chaffinches

Chiffchaff

Coal Tits

Curlews

Dippers

Dunnock

Fieldfares

Gadwall Ducks

Golden Plovers

Goldfinches

Goosanders

Great Spotted Woodpeckers 

Greenfinches

Grey Herons

Grey Wagtails

Greylag Geese

Herring Gulls

House Sparrows

Jackdaws

Jays

Kestrels

Lapwings

Little Owls

Mallard Ducks

Meadow Pipits

Mistle Thrushes

Northern Wheatears

Oystercatchers

Pheasants

Pied Wagtails

Ravens

Red Grouse

Redpolls

Redshanks

Redwings

Reed Buntings

Rooks

Sandpipers

Short-Eared Owls

Siskins

Skylarks

Snipe

Song Thrushes

Starlings

Swallows

Tawny Owls

Treecreepers

Tufted Ducks

Willow Warblers

Wrens

For up to date news about sightings by keen local birdwatchers, visit Calderdale Birds

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Looping the Loop

Looping the Loop: Crimsworth – Walshaw – Hardcastle Crags

 

 

Walkers are spoilt for choice in the countryside around Elmet Farmhouse, with its dramatic and varied landscape and the dense network of paths. On a fine clear day, there’s no better hike than the Crimsworth Walshaw Loop, a high level walk up on ‘the tops’ with glorious views of wooded valleys, hilltop hay meadows and rolling heather moors. Spring, summer, autumn or winter, if the sun is shining, this is the place to be.

These photos record an extended version of the Crimsworth Walshaw Loop in mid August when the heather moorland is in full bloom and turns a rich deep purple. The walk begins at Grain Water Bridge at the far end of Crimsworth Dean, then veers off up the hill over to Walshaw. After dropping down to Walshaw Lodge, it climbs up over Walshaw Moor to the string of reservoirs at Walshaw Dean, where it joins the Pennine Way. 

On meeting Alcomden Water, the route follows a track for several miles from Blake Dean to Shackleton Hill, with ravishing views across Hardcastle Crags towards Slack Heptonstall, with Stoodley Pike in the distance. Eventually it meets a footpath which curves back round through Crimsworth Dean. 

Inspiring and invigorating, this has got to be one of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales.

 

© Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson