Min­ing a rich seam of his­tory on scenic Wye val­ley ram­ble

Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON - CA­ROLE FIN­LAYSON

ELEVEN mem­bers of the East Cheshire Ram­blers re­cently com­pleted a 10 miles cir­cu­lar walk from Ash­ford-in-the-Wa­ter near Bakewell.

The day was bright and mild and the usual wa­ter­proofs for once weren’t re­quired.

Af­ter a steady climb with a brief stop to ad­mire the amaz­ing views over the Wye val­ley, the group reached the re­mains of the Mag­pie Mine just out­side Shel­don.

This was once one of the most fa­mous lead mines in the Peak District and was op­er­a­tional un­til the 1950s.

The sur­face re­mains are prob­a­bly the best ex­am­ple in the UK of a 19th cen­tury lead mine. The sur­round­ing spoil heaps are now re­claimed by na­ture and pro­vide a won­der­ful habi­tat for cowslips, mountain pan­sies and other lead tol­er­ant plants that were in full bloom when vis­ited. The walk con­tin­ued across fields and farm tracks, where the Ram­blers were treated to the rare sight of a curlew perched on a dry stone wall, down into Lathkill Dale, a Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve, which at this time of year is a riot of wild­flow­ers, but­ter­flies and bird­song.

Fol­low­ing a leisurely pic­nic lunch in the pretty Der­byshire vil­lage of Over Had­don, the Ram­blers con­tin­ued to­wards the thriv­ing mar­ket town of Bakewell, where the group stopped and treated them­selves to a well earned ice-cream.

The town has many his­toric build­ings and the par­ish church dates from Saxon times.

A fine 13th cen­tury five arched bridge spans the river Wye just east of the town cen­tre.

A leisurely walk then fol­lowed along the banks of the beau­ti­ful River Wye back to the car park. For more de­tails of East Cheshire Ram­blers’ pro­gramme of week­end and mid­week walks rang­ing from four to 15 miles in length, go to ram­blerseastcheshire.org. uk.

Re­mains of the Mag­pie Mine, vis­ited on this walk

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