Grevel Lindop

Poet, biographer, critic, essayist and writer on just about everything

SPRING IN MACCLESFIELD FOREST

Just started going out walking again in the North-West after months away from Manchester.

The part of the Peak District just east of Macclesfield has a special magic for me. I made an easy start this time, walking from Tegg’s Nose over to the Forest, then around the Forest and up to the summit of Shuttlingsloe.

Drifts of old English bluebells on slopes under trees at the north edge of the forest

To my delight I heard a cuckoo in the forest – the first I’ve heard this year, and given how rare they are now it could be the last, though I hope not. There were also great clouds of orange tip butterflies, though they were so restless that the only sharp-focus picture I could get shows one on dead leaves, rather than the flowers where I tried in vain to catch them!

One of the hundreds of orange-tip butterflies enlivening the forest

Maybe the most memorable sight was the vast drifts of bluebells covering hillsides under the trees; and these are the old English bluebells, the frailer, gracefully drooping ones, rather than the stiffer and apparently more robust ‘Spanish’ ones – lovely though these can also be.

Looking across a cleared area, over a belt of broadleaves, towards a misty Shuttlingsloe

A great day anyhow; and it’s good to be back writing this blog after such a long absence.

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