Learning from experience

I recently became a ‘volunteer patrolling warden’ for the Eastern Moors Partnership who look after the moors close to home. I have already done some litter picking plods and also a ‘challenging behaviours and having difficult conversations’ course (see earlier post), but today was my first ‘proper’ day out. Fortuitously for me, as I was heading to Barbrook Cottage to collect my warden t-shirt, John Mead, one of the full time wardens, was heading out on his ’rounds’. I tagged along.

First off Toads Mouth car park for Burbage South to put up a notice asking walkers and climbers to avoid a particular bay of the quarry due to a bird nesting there (I will be deliberately vague with the location and or species of some bird / animal in my posts). The sun shone. John did the hammering.

We then went to Suprise View after reports of BBQs and litter. Oh my. A minutes walk from the car park and we found a large fire pit on a clearing. And 4 BBQ trays. And multiple food wrappers and beer bottles. And human waste. And two established saplings that had been uprooted for firewood. And fireworks.

The rest of the walk along under Millstone Edge was nicer. A few fire pits to disassemble. Some climbers to natter to. Bees to try and guess the species of. Nails rock climbs to stare at. The old workings to wander through.

There was then the curious incident of the dog walker sat by his campervan in the car park with his dog, who walked over to us and and asked us to take his dog shit away for him !

I then nipped to Hathersage to buy some lunch whilst John did a trip along Ox Stones and Houndkirk. I met him at The Grouse Inn lay-by for a wander along White Edge looking and listening.

In between there had been lots of noticing, of taking photos of things, of the business of looking after these landscapes, of the good, bad, and ugly interaction with the landscape by humans. There was also standing and just listening. Lots of lists of notes and books to read and places to go and things to see.

And when we were walking from somewhere to somewhere at the end of the day there was something in a tree …

thanks John.

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