Bursting with Life

yellow rattle  and brids foot trefoil in meadow grass

Late spring and early summer provide a fantastic opportunity to make the most of the better weather with a walk or cycle in the Dark Peak. It's a busy time for wildlife so why not take the time to look out for birds, flowers, hares and butterflies on your way?

Springing to life



In the woods and meadows

Look out for bluebells if you are walking up through the wooded cloughs from the valleys in late spring. Park Hall Wood in Little Hayfield or Backside Wood below Jaggers Clough in Edale are good places to look.You’ll hear birds such as nuthatch, redstart and a variety of finches, warblers and woodpeckers. Haymeadows are full of the colours of wildflowers. Look out for birds foot trefoil, ox eye dasiy, pignut and yellow rattle, all good species for insects and butterflies. 

On the moors

Above the wooded cloughs you’ll reach the wide expanses of moorland and fluffy clouds of white cotton grass, where ground nesting birds will be breeding from now until the end of July. 
All around you in the grass and heather there’ll be curlew, grouse, lapwing, golden plover and meadow pipit, all busy nest-building out of sight but not far from your feet. 
Clouds of cotton grass cover the moors in spring.
cotton grass detail foreground blurred background blue sky
Clouds of cotton grass cover the moors in spring.

Birds of prey

We will be keeping an eye on the birds and in particular birds of prey, to monitor the success of the breeding season. We would like to see more birds of prey such as hen harriers and goshawks nesting on the moors and we are working hard to improve their moorland habitat


You can help

As this is such a fragile time of year for birds, we do ask that you help to take care of them whilst out walking. You can do this by keeping to the paths on the moors and keeping your dog on a lead; this will ensure the birds’ nests, eggs  and chicks remain intact and undisturbed. 
Golden plover chicks keeping safe in their grassy nest.
three golden plover chicks in nest
Golden plover chicks keeping safe in their grassy nest.
There is so much to see in the spring, it’s a great time to immerse yourself in the wonders of the Dark Peak, we hope you enjoy it.