Derbyshire Animals – the latest Peaks post from Tony R

Derbyshire Animals – the latest Peaks post from Tony R

Now, I bet you are all thinking this article is going to be about Yobs at climbing sites, well you’re wrong, in fact I don’t think I’ve met any Yobs at the Crags up here, plenty in Nottingham and Derby City Centres, but they tend not to go out into the countryside, which is a blessing.

No its not about that, it about animals at Crags – and “what bought that on” I hear you say, well I’ll tell you. Are you sitting comfortably then I’ll begin.

We were climbing at a little know Crag at Shinning Cliff woods, to those who have visited my home in Whatstandwell, these woods are directly opposite the house. Not many climbers visit the woods as it does take a while to dry out after rain and they are invested with large and I mean large “Ants” that bite and climb E2 5C easily.

While I was half way down an abseil when Nick shouted “looks whats down here” and there by his feet was a tiny woodland mouse, just sitting there – Nick even gave it an acorn and it just didn’t move (no it wasn’t dead) it just seemed oblivious to us humans. It was still there by the time I completed the abseil – but sods law it moved away when I reached for the camera, and went down a small hole in a tree stump.

Now that was lovely to see and it got me wondering what other creatures I had seen over the time up here. Lets face it we don’t really look and the wild life when we’re climbing do we and No I don’t mean the wild life your thinking off Mr Warren and Mr Beswick, although there was this beautiful…….. “Rock Angel Bird”…..…. but that’s another story!!!

So let’s see what has been at the Crags up here – obviously the grouse and pheasants at Bamford, the Ring Ouzels at High Neb, Kestrels and Sparrow hawks at The Roaches and Stanage, Buzzards at Chase Cliff, Water Voles and grass snakes at Willersley, Cromford. Sheep stuck down HVD at Millstones. Bats at Tegness Pinnacle Froggatt, Owls on Beeley Moor, a possible sighting of Hen Harriers at Gardoms and the Woodland Vole at Shinning Cliff.

One more which believe me is not a joke, there are Wallabies running wild above the Roaches – Five Bennett’s Wallabies were released from a private zoo at Roaches Hall in the late 1930’s and they about 50 of them now.

Not bad as when one is climbing you don’t really focus on wild life.

So don’t forget to look around you at the Crags, you’ll be amazed at what pops out.

(pathetic arnt I !!!!!)

Tony R

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