• Chasing the light in the Derbyshire Dales

    Great day in Derbyshire last Wednesday. On the road by 4.30. On the hills shortly after 6.30 & the light was great. Started my day in Dovedale - a haunt I remember vividly from my days out when a student at Trent in the 70s.

    I'd heard on the grapevine that there are serious concerns about the arrival of ash dieback in this glorious ash dominated valley. If, as or most certainly when it does arrive here the landscape is likely to be changed out of all recognition. I had the place to myself at this early hour - just the way I like it - as Dovedale's enduring popularity makes it something of a tourist honeypot from now on and through the summer months. This may be part of its undoing as there's always the possibility that motor car tyres (admittedly only in the carpark at the front of the valley) and innumerable walking boots have the potential to help introduce the microscopic spores of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. But then there are always blow-ins. Frankly, I think I have already seen a handful of trees in the valley bottom that could well have ash dieback, but I can't be sure.

    Enjoy this amazing place while you can.

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