Ancient, mossy Oaks: Padley Gorge

Remember a time when the weather wasn’t quite so wet and windy!

These shots were taken in February 2014 during a very fine spell of weather. Padley Gorge in the Peak District is very close to Sheffield and a bit of a mecca for visitors since it is so easily accessible.

There is a fabulous stream which gushes and tumbles over the grit-stone rocks, and each side of the little valley is wooded with old Oak trees. The tree’s growth is stunted by the poor conditions; the shallow, rocky soil and the low level of nutrients. This in turn results in the trees being both small and contorted into all sorts of wonderful twists and shapes.

The damp conditions also make the whole place perfect for moss! In some places the moss carpets everything including the ground, the boulders and the tree branches!

It was particularly good to find a bright day early in the year, as with no leaves on the trees the sunlight could percolate right down to the ground and light up the moss to great effect.

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