I am fortunate enough to live in a part of the UK that is very beautiful. That area of Britain is in the North West and is called Stalybridge. We are lucky in that a 20 minute car journey can take you to the wonders of the Peak District along with Dovestones and Indian Head.

We have everything from rivers winding their way through the towns on their way to the sea to wilderness and wildlife that is second to none. In fact this place is a place where one can see the Arctic Hare with it’s white coat in winter. They are not a native to the area but were probably introduced during the Victorian era for people to hunt. We have hills, gorges, canals, lakes and reservoir’s all around us that are perfect for that summer walk or ramble where you can become one with the nature around you.

These pictures were taken as I walked along the reservoirs’ in Brushes. At the top there’s 2 paths 1 leading to Carrbrook and the other into Hadfield.

I Took the Wildlife and Surrounding Natural Beauty for Granted

When I returned from Sweden I decided to get out and about once again like I did many years ago with my dad. We would spend hours just walking and looking for the wildlife hiding in the wonderful heather that is all around. As I got older all that went by the wayside until I went to Sweden and realised that not only does Sweden have wonderful wildlife but most of the animals and insects I saw were also resident in the UK. Over the years I had taken it all for granted and never went out walking or bird watching, not even with the kids when they were growing up. Now that is bad as I think kids should be given every opportunity to get out and about into the countryside and see for themselves just how wonderfully diverse and beautiful it is.

I Made Myself a Promise When I Returned

That promise was to get out and about and that is what I have done when I can. Starting off in December when the snow was lying all around us I went and took pictures of the Huddersfield Canal. Now this canal is over 200 years old, is 20 miles long and has

something like 74 locks. It runs from Ashton Under Lyne in Tameside all the way to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. At one time the canal was an important route for the industries that were all around here, but building the canal would be hard work and involve building a tunnel which would be over 3 miles long and the longest canal boat tunnel in Britain. Over the years as steam power took a grip on the country the canal fell into disrepair and some parts were eventually filled in and built on. Then in 1974 an idea was turned into a reality when plans were drawn up to re-open the canal. In 2001 the canal was finally open but not before some excellent engineering feats were achieved including digging out the canal straight through Stalybridge and in particular Armentieres Square. Over the years a bus station then car park were built on the square leaving little or no sign of the canal that once ran through the square. That all changed and now it’s a wonderful scenic part of Stalybridge.

I love to walk this canal as it’s peaceful and you can see all types of wildlife. I walk from Ashton to Stalybridge quite a lot as I have family there and every time I walk along the canal there’s always something new to see.

The following pics were taken in Dec 2010/Jan 2011 as mentioned.

The canal once it reaches it’s end actually joins another canal, the Ashton Canal which links Ashton to Manchester.

Along the way you come across many canal boats like the ones below.

They are lovely don’t you think? I have never been on a narrow boat, maybe 1 day I will get the chance.

This is just 1 place I love to walk and I hope you enjoyed reading about it. As the weather improves I have lots more walks and rambles I intend to go on and want to blog about them. As you can see the area where I live is beautiful so it would be a travesty not too wouldn’t it?