Blue Remembered Hills

Torside Reservoir today

Youth hosteling with the school, aged 10.
Youth hosteling with the school, aged 10 (colour added from memory in Photoshop!)

Driving over the bridge at Torside Reservoir brought back memories of my first impressions of hill country.

One Sunday in February 1961 we drove over Holme Moss and down into Longdendale, alongside the reservoir to visit my grandad who was in a nursing home in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire (now Greater Manchester).

torside reservoir

hikerIn my drawing, I rearranged the landscape to tell a story; in reality the dam is a mile to the west of the bridge. I like those little details: two hikers, a figure throwing a ball for a dog and a train trundling along the Sheffield to Manchester line, which ran through the Woodhead Tunnel. Continue reading “Blue Remembered Hills”

Langsett Reservoir

Langsettlangsett sketch, crayons‘Doesn’t it make you feel lucky?’ says the woman who walks by as we sit drawing and writing at North America, the ruined farm overlooking Langsett reservoir. That’s just what we were thinking. Yesterday, which was equally sunny we’d been stuck inside, so we didn’t take any persuading to get out into the Peak District today.

As a change from the little wallet of children’s wax crayons that I’ve been slipping into my pocket recently, I’ve brought a selection of Derwent Watercolour pencils which I bought some years ago at the Pencil Factory in Keswick at the top end of Derwentwater. They came in a plastic pod which didn’t survive long in my art bag but they fit equally well into a long thin ArtPen tin.

crayon pod

I haven’t brought my water-brush so, after I’ve added the crayon to my drawing, I crouch by a puddle and use a wet finger to spread the colour about.

Red Grouse, Brown Trout

moor smokeThey’re burning a patch of the moor this morning, to improve the habitat for red grouse by providing a patchwork of heather at different stages of growth.

little don or porterResearchers are sampling the sediment above and below the weir on the River Little Don or Porter at the top end of the reservoir. A study by the University of Hull of tagged brown trout in Langsett Reservoir has revealed that trout attempt to move into the tributary streams from October to January, probably to spawn. Yorkshire Water are considering constructing a fish ladder here to allow the trout to access the suitable habitat upstream.

Link: Movement of brown trout in and between headwater tributaries and reservoirs (PDF), J.D. Bolland, L. Wallace, J.P. Harvey, M. Tinsdeall, J.L. Baxter & I.G. Cowx, University of Hull