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Today, I'm on a journey through the beautiful Peak District,
beginning in the hamlet of Buxworth
and ending up in Matlock in the Derbyshire Dales.
I'll be travelling from Buxworth village to Kinder Scout.
From there, I head south-east into Hope and on to Bamford.
I then cross over to the Longshaw Estate, travel on to Stanton Moor,
and I'll finish my journey in style,
heading out by train from Darley Dale.
Along the way, I'll be bringing you the very best
of the BBC's rural programmes from this part of the country.
This is the Alton. She was built 74 years ago,
and one of her main roles was to carry coal, a job she still does today.
Surprisingly, in the 18th and 19th centuries,
it wasn't coal that was the primary material transported in this region.
I'm heading into Bugsworth Basin,
at the terminus of the Peak Forest Canal, at one time the hub of local industry.
I'm meeting with Don Baines to find out about the Peak District's core product.
-Good morning. How are you? Good to see you.
So this is Bugsworth Basin?
-This was famous as a big main interchange. Is that right?
Between the tramway and the canal.
So the tramway would bring what down here?
Limestone and burnt lime, both.
The burnt lime would be loaded undercover,
and the limestone itself would be loaded straight onto the boats,
-and it would go away to Manchester, to Cheshire, Liverpool and wherever.
-So where was the limestone quarried?
The limestone was quarried up at Dove Holes, up in the White Peak.
-Which is how far away, roughly?
So quarried six miles away, then brought down here by tram?
Some tramway wagons would come along the top there, charge the kilns there,
and was loaded in a warehouse, or lime shed, that stood here.
A breakthrough in 1791 meant limestone became the key material
in the production of glass, soap, building and textile industries, making it a very precious commodity.
The rock was burnt in kilns on the bank of this canal interchange.
So this was quite a big, important interchange. Describe the scene.
What would it have been like here?
It was very bare. There were no trees, a lot of smoke,
because the burning process is layers of coal and limestone, and it's continuously fed.
You've got this sulphurous smoke coming out of the top all the time.
-In the night-time, you'd get limelight, the glow.
-Limelight? That's where the term comes from.
-What about in the canals here? Would there have been dozens and dozens of boats?
Yes, anything up to about 80 boats a day were turned round here.
It was the largest inland port on the narrow canal system.
By the 1960s, Bugsworth Basin was an unused and derelict site.
It was at this point, a passionate small group of people stepped in and set about the restoration.
The old couple that started it were called the Bunkers. Bessie and John Bunker.
-Quite a couple, really. She was a very formidable, feisty lady.
She fought very hard to keep canals open in the days when they were being closed all over the place.
She fought very hard. She'd think nothing of going into a council meeting,
storming in and taking them to task, calling them a fool to their faces! Quite an amazing lady.
So if that began in the '60s, when was it completed to its current state?
To its current state - in 1998, '99. We had an opening, but we had problems.
Lots of leaks, a terrible place for leaks.
We had to close again.
-We finally opened in 2005.
-You've studied a lot of the history of the area.
What is it that captivates you?
It's the only one of its kind remaining in the country. All other canal tramway interchanges have gone.
They're under bypasses or motorways, or whatever.
It's now a scheduled monument to protect it, preserve it.
It's an important part of our history, really. Yeah.
Leaving Bugsworth behind, I'm hiking into the wild to the Peak District.
From the village of Buxworth, I'm heading north towards the famous mountain Kinder Scout,
which marks the beginning of the Pennine Way.
Millions of years ago, this area was submerged. A sea bed.
The layers of lime, sand and grit stone laid down then
have given us one of the most beautiful upland areas in Britain.
This really is a walkers' paradise.
But it wasn't always so. An event here on Kinder Scout in 1932
changed walking history for ever.
In the 1930s, Britain was in recession, with unemployment at over 3 million.
Locally, people longed for the freedom of the countryside.
But there was a problem. This part of the Peak District was controlled by a few landowners,
who preserved it for the occasional grouse shoots.
In fact, walkers were regarded as trespassers, with gamekeepers often chasing people off.
Kinder Scout had become a forbidden mountain.
On April 24th 1932, over 400 people set out
on what would later become known as "the mass trespass".
The idea was simple.
Gamekeepers simply wouldn't be able to deter people en masse,
who would then claim the right to climb to the top of one of the UK's most dramatic landscapes.
The trespassers from the surrounding towns converged triumphantly on the summit of Kinder Scout,
but on their return to the bottom, they found the police waiting.
The mass trespass has become an iconic historical event.
And in 1989, Chris Baines went to meet one of the young ringleaders.
At the age of only 21, Benny Rothman's political drive and love of the countryside
led to his leading role in the mass trespass of 1932.
The ramblers walked from Hayfield, from the recreation ground,
and we finally gathered here in this quarry.
There were far more people than we expected.
We had a membership
in the whole of Lancashire of about 150 to 200 members.
There were between 400 and 600 ramblers had gathered.
We'd given the signal and they'd responded.
There was a real demand for something like that.
And was there much effort to stop you?
There was virtually no effort between Hayfield and here to stop us.
All we were doing was walking along a public footpath
and along the road, and they'd no grounds for stopping us.
In fact, when we had the meeting here, in the quarry, there was quite a big group of policemen
at the back of the crowd who had followed us there,
detectives who were listening and possibly taking notes.
-But the whole idea was to get up onto the hill, wasn't it?
We felt highly elated coming along here,
talking, singing and, as I say,
the police were in the rear
just wondering what to do.
# I'd been over Snowdon I've slept up on Crowden
# I've camped by the Wain Stones as well
# I've sunbathed on Kinder
# Been burned to a cinder
# And many more things I can tell
# My rucksack is often me pillow
# The heather has oft been my bed
# And sooner than fall from the mountains
# I think I would rather be dead
# I'm a rambler... #
So how bad was access up onto the tops?
It wasn't bad, it was impossible.
In those days, with the unemployment in the villages and the towns around here,
they were able to recruit a whole army of keepers.
They would station themselves on all the vantage points,
on hilltops and that, particularly at weekends,
and they would make sure that ordinary people
wouldn't set their unclean feet on the forbidden land.
They made sure about that.
What do you think they made of 400 or 500 of you marching up the path?
That was quite a headache for them.
They very valiantly kept us under observation,
then when we were halfway up Sandy Heys,
approaching the top of Kinder,
they made a charge downhill, waving their sticks and shouting, "Get back!"
Well, they didn't get back. There were a few scuffles,
but the ramblers went on to hold a victory meeting on the summit of Kinder
and then walked triumphantly back down the mountain.
Several of the leaders, including Benny, were sent to jail,
but the trespass worked, and now Kinder's accessible to everybody.
I was longing to see the summit of Kinder in the company of the great Benny Rothman,
but I had a nasty feeling that if we walked, I'd get left behind on the steep bits.
I suggested he might like to see his old battleground from the air.
It's a lot quicker by helicopter than on foot, isn't it?
Very much so!
Very much so.
The route on to Kinder itself, up Sandy Heys here,
it looks quite flat but it's quite a scramble.
# ..So I'll walk where I will over mountain and hill
# And I'll lie where the bracken is deep
# I belong to the mountains The clear running fountains
# Where the grey rocks rise rugged and steep
# I've seen the white hare in the gullies
# And the curlew fly high overhead
# And sooner than fall from the mountains
# I think I would rather be dead
# I'm a rambler... #
-Wrong foot... Wrong-footed it again!
-There we go.
Here we go.
Back on terra firma.
What will all your mates think if they know
Benny Rothman arrived on the top of Kinder in a helicopter, eh?
Well, why not?
I've come up in the world.
I can afford a helicopter trip every few days. Why not?
-I think you'll have a lot of complaints about helicopter noise, won't you?
-I'm sure I would.
But in spite of that,
it's still lovely to be able to come up on your own pair of feet
and there's nothing like the wind and the sun in your face.
A bit of rain, too, now and again.
So what are we looking at?
Well, you're looking down the valley from the downfall, of course.
Look at some of the young chaps there.
Taking an opportunity of climbing on these rocks.
I think that if we get general access to all uncultivated land,
with the exception, of course,
of those parts of the country
where walking will positively damage wildlife,
if we can get more access,
then I think the pressures on the countryside will be less.
We'll spread the load.
# ..I may be a wage slave on Monday
# But I am a free man on Sunday... #
'Benny sadly passed away in 2002, but he and the other trespassers
'left us all a fantastic legacy - the freedom to roam.
'Walking around the slopes of Kinder Scout,
'I'm joining the Pennine Way,
'and a family of ramblers who are taking full advantage of that freedom.'
So who's the keenest walker of the family?
-Claire? So Claire, how did you get into walking?
I started walking the dogs and that,
just around the village and around the local footpaths.
Is it important for family values to spend time like this together?
I think it's very important for families to get out,
talk to each other, which they don't do when they're sat at home in front
of the television, things like that.
There's no communication.
What about enjoying this great landscape of ours, the Peak District?
Yeah, there's so much to see.
Some beautiful sights.
Claire, do many of your friends of your age come out walking like this?
-What do they think about you doing it?
They think I'm mad, but they're supportive.
Remember the newborn lamb that you saw being born just over here?
-Yeah, literally just born before our eyes.
-So you go back with all these tales?
-We've got some good memories.
One of the best things must be going home, feeling that you've actually done some exercise...
You feel shattered at the end of the day!
And you deserve it - that big, big meal and that hot cup of tea?
And a bar of chocolate.
-Ooh yes, chocolate!
-Does anybody have one in their backpack?
This really is quite beautiful up here, isn't it? Just look out there.
-Isn't that amazing?
Of course, this is the start of the Pennine Way, and you have actually walked the whole way? How far is it?
280 miles or something.
We did about 286.
She was 10 at the time.
10 at the time? And what are your memories, did you enjoy it?
-Yeah, it was fun.
-She raised £1,700 for Rainbow's Children's Hospice.
Brilliant. So are you both proud of your daughter's achievement?
Absolutely. How many 10-year-olds have done that all in one go?
Non-stop, carrying a big pack,
bed and breakfast, youth hostels, all the way.
While we're looking at these views, how would you describe those?
With scenery like this, who wants to go abroad?
We've got everything in this country that we could ask for.
It's absolutely stunning.
-Where are you guys heading now?
-Back down to Eden, hopefully.
OK. I've got an intriguing meeting in Hope.
So I'll say goodbye, and enjoy the rest of your trip.
Nice to meet you.
The hills of the Peak District are shaped by the rock that has been
a valuable resource to the area for centuries. But sometimes,
these hills harbour something much more precious.
Treak Cliff Cavern is one of two mines in the hill where Blue John is dug out.
It's a form of fluoride which was first discovered in the 18th century by miners looking for lead.
These days, visitors come to the caves to see the Blue John that's still left in the rocks.
The name comes from two French for words, "bleu,"
meaning blue, although it looks a bit more purple to me, and "jaune," which is yellow.
There are thin veins of Blue John
stretching for around about half a mile in the middle of this hill.
It's basically fluorspar, which is common,
but the fluorspar in this one hill, trapped within its crystal system,
peculiar chemicals, and it's those chemicals within the crystal system
that give Blue John its colour.
And how long have you been mining for Blue John?
I started mining here about 1945.
But I've been cutting and polishing it and mining it for a lot of years.
You actually, you begin to love the stone.
Agreements with the government agency Natural England limit the extraction
of Blue John to 500 kilos per year in each of the two mines, and work goes on away from the public areas.
We just follow old veins.
Occasionally, while you're mining, a vein will narrow
and almost peter out, and you think
that's finished now, then suddenly it'll open out again and keep going.
How difficult is it to mine the Blue John?
It's difficult, because we have to get the limestone out that surrounds the Blue John first.
So it gives us a nice lip, if you like, of Blue John.
And the chisels, as we hammer them in, they split the wooden pegs,
and that cracks the limestone, and hopefully we get a nice piece, a solid piece falling out.
We don't know exactly how much there is left, but certainly
we're still finding it in little bits here and there.
Workshops on the hillside turn the brittle Blue John into ornaments and jewellery.
It's treated with resin to strengthen it and allow it to be shaped.
What will it look like when it's finished?
That one there, there's one here that's nearly finished.
This is just ready for its final polish.
What we normally do is start off with something like that,
and we mount it on the chucks,
get a shape similar to this one, take out the centre,
so all that centre would come out,
and eventually we end up with something like this.
-A beautiful bowl like that.
-This is from our Cliff Blue Vein.
Some of the results are worth many thousands of pounds.
Here we have two items, Peter, that are among the pride of your collection.
Absolutely. Two very nice ornaments.
This one, quite old, about 1800.
This one we made on these premises in about 1960.
Hold it up like that, John, look at the banding.
Beautiful light there.
-Can I pick this one up?
It's much heavier than I thought.
That's why, if it's dropped, it breaks, because of its weight.
I'd better be careful putting it down again!
Together, these two, how much are they worth?
-Altogether, I'd say there wouldn't be much change out of £40,000.
As you'd expect, Blue John features heavily
in the gift shops of nearby Castleton,
but it's also found in some of the world's greatest collections,
including those of Windsor Castle, the White House and the Vatican.
And the good news for anybody who owns a fine example of Blue John is that its value is bound to increase,
especially once the mines are worked out
and these rare gems become a precious part of the Hope Valley's past.
Crossing the heart of the Peak District, I'm travelling south-east
into Hope Valley, to pick up the Hope to Bamford trail.
Our line should be 220, Skip.
-Got that, Derek.
-It's a bit murky down there, Guy.
Makes it the perfect training run.
I hope it's more steady when we level out.
We'll see what we can do.
I understand there's some twisting to cope with as well.
Don't worry, you're not hearing things.
That was the crew of the Dam Busters.
You see, I'm taking part in a new twist in the history lesson.
On these headphones, I'm listening to the Spirits Of The Past audio tour.
It was created by the Moors For The Future Project. The idea is simple.
You go on to the website, download the tour on to your MP3 player,
step out into the countryside and back in time.
High of 100, 80, 70, 60...
Narrated by the ghosts of yesterday, this tour brings to life the rich
history of the landscape surrounding the Hope and Derwent valleys.
The Dam Busters, set here above the famous Howden Dam,
is just one of many tales from the past that you can experience.
That was fun! Can I have a go?
By all means.
In fact, I'll just take up a bit higher.
Keep the same line.
Forward! For the honour of Wessex!
MEN CHARGE AND SHOUT
This is the battle scene of Win Hill and Lose Hill.
An assassination attempt on the Anglo-Saxon king of Northumbria
led to a bloody clash between the kings of Wessex and Mercia, and the army of the King of Northumbria.
Archers, let fly!
It's as if the whole hill has come alive to the sound of fighting.
I can smell the fires, it really is as if the ghosts of the past
have come back to haunt these hills.
The day is long and hard fought on both sides,
but as the shadow of the Western Peak grows long,
it soon becomes clear to all but blinded eyes that Northumbria has the better of the day.
King Quickelm has wit to see that the battle is lost.
This morning I've decided to blow away any ghostly cobwebs
by taking my mountain bike across this stunning landscape.
42% of us own a bicycle in the UK.
If you're one of the ones that doesn't, it's never too late to learn.
Sheffield is right on the edge of the Peak District National Park,
which attracts around 20 million visitors per year.
But there are people born and brought up in the city who just don't use this amazing natural resource.
That's something that Kevin Buerk of the Reach For The Peaks scheme aims to change.
Here we are, surrounded by really beautiful countryside and yet loads of people don't go. Why?
There are a number of reasons, really.
People are nervous to go because they don't know
how to repair a bike and they're scared to go very far.
We can teach that very easily.
On other levels, people don't know what routes they can use.
One lady came to me and said, "How do I get to Bradfield?"
It's not far from here. I said, "Go across the commons."
She said, "But there's a bridleway." She wasn't aware she could ride on a bridleway.
People don't know the routes they can take,
or that there's a bus service you can put your bike on.
There is a problem around here - the sheer number of hills.
I'd imagine that you do have to be quite fit.
You do, yes, but what we're saying to people is,
with the routes we've created, you can park in any part of those.
So you can drive to the top of the hill where it's flat and
cycle for a while up there and build your fitness up.
Fitness is a big issue now, certainly with children.
I've noticed that with kids it's difficult to get them to do more than four or five miles.
The keen cyclists tend to have their head down and off they go.
What we're trying to say is that this is fantastic countryside, just stop and look.
So we're allowed, are we, to stop and look at the view a lot?
It's a good excuse if you've got a group out who are less fit than others, because you can stop
the group for good reason, and nobody realises that you're stopping to have a rest as well.
Debbie McCart lives in the heart of the city, but getting out of it is something she really values.
You're amazingly lucky to live so close to both the centre of a city and open countryside.
Sheffield, it has a really hard south-west edge, so yes, it's great.
We're so close to the city, all the facilities, and yet we can be out on the Peak in less than half an hour.
-Is that important to you and the rest of the family?
That's one of the reasons we've stayed in Sheffield for so long.
We've looked at other cities and maybe moving, we love Scotland,
but Sheffield is just ideal, because you have the Peak District right on your doorstep.
It's just being out in the fresh air, away from the city, enjoying the views and the countryside.
Morning, thanks for coming along.
Many of us have put off cycling in the countryside by the fear of being alone or our bike breaking.
Reach For The Peaks runs group rides and maintenance classes.
There are two types of inner tube...
These bike maintenance classes are essential, because if you get out into the Peak District
and get a puncture, you look pretty silly if you have to walk home.
-It's fairly straightforward...
-Basically, all I know about bikes
is that they've got two wheels that go round.
So in the case of an accident, it's going to help me out a lot.
Getting back home in one piece, really.
Kevin. What have I done wrong?
For novices, changing an inner tube
seems a challenge, but after some tuition it's surprisingly easy.
I'm just trying to get it to 40lbs.
Even with a really lovely pump, it's a bit harder than it looks.
Ah, there we go. Success.
And so we head for the hills...
Well, actually, the flattish bit around Ladybower Reservoir, and I team up with fellow newcomer
Philip Thorpe, hoping we won't get left too far behind.
So what made you come out today?
I've always liked to be out and about in the country,
and this seemed like another thing that I could potentially do.
There are quite a lot of challenges to master.
I've just about worked out the gears.
When I used to be on a bike, there were only three, so there are some difficulties, aren't there?
Yeah, I think I did ride a Chopper last time I had one!
This is new for me, but I'm really enjoying it.
It's surprisingly good fun.
So how often do you actually get out of Sheffield? It's a lovely city, but there's a lot on the doorstep.
I probably don't get out as much as I should, but hopefully,
doing this, it'll allow me to have an incentive to get out and about and patrol
all the networks that Sheffield provides.
Time to look at that view, and Kevin turns out to be a mine of information.
Just worth stopping here to point out the trees on the far bank there.
They're pine tree, but they actually lose their pines at this time of year, which makes them deciduous.
They actually make a fantastic colour at this time of year as well.
They really break up the green which goes all away round the dam.
At the moment, we're on the Derwent Dams which is part of the Ladybower
system of dams, and it's probably most famous of all for the Dam Busters.
This is where Barnes Wallis tested the bouncing bombs.
I was talking to somebody who cycled round the Ruhr Dams
which is where they actually dropped them, and he said
that he cycled alongside of that, and thought he was at Ladybowers.
It's so, so similar you can't believe it. It's uncanny.
So this place has a real place in British history.
For once, I feel I actually deserve the cake that I've almost finished eating.
When you've been cycling around, even a bit, it's nice to stop and even sit down.
What would you say to people who have been watching this and are thinking, "I'm not sure"?
Just go for it. You don't have to do a huge day out, just come out for
the morning, hire a bike, have a little poot around, it's great.
And with this scenery, who wouldn't be enticed out to the Peaks?
This is the perfect terrain to bring a mountain bike.
But all isn't quite what it seems.
These mounds around me aren't natural. They're man-made.
They're the remains of Tin Town, a settlement once built for the construction workers of Howden Dam.
2,500 navvies were used to build the dam,
and they lived in this specifically designed village of Birchin Lee,
which earned the nickname Tin Town
because its buildings were constructed of corrugated iron.
The town itself is long gone, buried beneath the moorland.
These hillocks are just another reminder of how the landscape
in the Peak District has been shaped by its industry.
But it's not just the industrial past that dominates this landscape.
Wherever you go in the Peak District, you can't get away from farming, and in particular, sheep.
Leaving Tin Town behind me, I'm heading 11 miles south
to the Longshaw Estate to meet Jim Fulton,
president of the sheepdog trials that are held here each September.
This should certainly be the place for sheep in the Peak District,
as they claim to have the oldest sheep dog trials in the country.
-Jim, how are you, a little bit misty up here, isn't it?
-It's really bad.
There's obviously been a rich heritage and history of sheep dog trialling here.
When did it actually begin on the estate?
It began on the estate in 1898.
-So, that's doing the maths about one 110 years ago.
With the first trial there were only, I think, 36 people here.
It's gone from...its popularity has increased
up to about 10,000 spectators at one point with buses every 10 minutes from Sheffield
and a train from Manchester.
Obviously it's waned as other things have taken over, but it still
continues to be a very popular spectator and competitor event.
So how and why did it all begin?
It began as a competition.
The Duke of Rutland had a gamekeeper and a shepherd and
they had a competition, the first competition was actually shooting.
And then the gamekeeper had a gun and the shepherd didn't so the shepherd chose the next competition
and they decided to use their dogs to round sheep up.
And the competition was born from there on?
From then it's continued until this day.
And obviously many viewers will remember One Man And His Dog,
especially in its heyday, did that have an effect on the estate
-and its popularity of sheepdog trialling?
-It did do.
It made it more popular, obviously, seeing it on the television.
After the war the BBC were the first people to come here to show
that normal life continued, in 1945.
Now, I've been lucky enough to present One Man And His Dog
for the last few years, I remember watching it as a little boy.
I've never had a chance to actually try sheepdog trialling. Is there anyone who can give me a lesson?
I'll introduce you to our shepherd, Tony, his great-grandfather
-was a founder member of the Association.
-Tony Priestley is a third generation shepherd
whose family have always had the Peak District and its sheep trialling in their blood,
and I'm hoping some of his expertise will rub off on me.
When you're operating the dog he works in circles,
so it either goes to the left clockwise or anti-clockwise.
So you'd start off sending the dog
to the left, round to the left is "come-by". And to the right hand side is "way to me".
Which one is most likely to listen to me? Meg, presumably.
-Meg, presumably, yeah.
-So what command shall I give her now?
-Try a way.
No. Unfortunate. Sorry about that.
I thought I have command over canines, obviously none at all.
Obviously my voice sounds different.
-You could try "come by".
-Meg, come by. Come by.
-And the whistle, can I just have a quick go anyway?
Because I've never really been, just remind me.
Get your tongue at the back of it.
So the tongue against here?
And just blow, yeah. Don't try and blow too hard.
Again, it's practice.
Did you hear that?
No, neither did I. I think that's why I'll stick to presenting
One Man And His Dog rather than actually participating in it.
-Given that I was so hopeless, can I just see an expert running these dogs?
-I can try.
-Can you try?
I'm just going to show you the basic commands. So we'll go to the right first, anti-clockwise.
We lie down, lie down. Now she's walking behind so that is "walk on".
Walk-on. Then we got lie-down.
Meg, lie down. She'll stand.
So we'll go for left hand command now.
Lie-down. Come by, come by.
So there we're to the left.
Lie-down. Lie-down, Meg.
There we go, and the dogs obviously love this, don't they?
Oh yeah, a day's walk on the moor, gathering sheep,
you know, taking a dog and as it gets better and better the more times you go,
you get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to get it probably half a mile, a mile away.
It takes a bit of doing for a start, you know, so there's a lot of satisfaction in it, yeah.
So far my journey's taken me from Buxworth Basin in the village
of Buxworth and on to Kinder Scout.
I've crossed the heart of the Peak District through Hope,
Bamford and Tin Town, and then finally on to the Longshaw Estate.
I'm now heading south into the Derbyshire Dales,
an area famed for its industrial past.
Old disused industrial structures still scatter the horizon.
Industry and the countryside are not usually seen as natural bedfellows,
which raises the question, do these monuments of industry enhance or spoil the landscape?
Lead mining in the Peak District was once one of the largest, richest
and longest worked heavy metal mining industries in Europe.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, lead vied with iron, behind wool, as Britain's major export.
There are very few lead mines that survive in the area today.
This one I've crawled into is only open to tourists now.
The mines that are still being worked
are for the minerals that were thrown away by their original lead miners,
which still have a commercial value today.
Minerals such as calcite, byrites
and fluorspar, used as fluoride in toothpastes
and other manufacturing industries, and still currently mined in the area.
The most visual sign that mining was once so prevalent in the area
are these lumps and bumps that you find when you're out walking in the Peak District.
But it's these surface remains,
known as lead rake landscapes which are declining.
Enter the three big-hitting organisations determined that no more lead rake land is lost.
English Heritage, English Nature and the National Park Authority
have joined forces to form the lead rakes project.
Lead mining has been a feature of the Peak District for over 2,000 years.
And it's significant for the wildlife habitats,
for the cultural history.
It's been a part of the local communities for hundreds of years.
In practical terms what are you hoping to achieve?
We're hoping to keep what's left of the lead mine landscape that still remains.
We've lost about three-quarters of lead mine remains in the Peak District.
So what's left is pretty significant and we need to retain as much of that as we can.
Why have those areas been lost over the last 100 years?
It's primarily because people have perceived of them as waste and derelict land.
Farmers have wanted to improve the landscape to get better grazing.
Mineral companies have been reworking the areas for what were the waste materials.
Evidence of mining history in the Peak District is clearly visible here at Magpie Mine.
But this is one of only a few sites with buildings still standing.
But to get a real sense of history you need to go underground.
Like down here -
most mines in the Peak District are now closed to the public,
although this was once a show mine, in Victorian times.
And it isn't until you get underground that you fully appreciate
the extent of the work that's gone on here.
The mine was probably worked in the 18th century
but before that it probably goes back to the 16th century,
at that point the mining would have been very tough.
They didn't have explosives, they used to have to light fires
underground to heat their rocks up to make it break.
How much lead would they get out of this rock every day?
Probably in terms of advance in rock, probably about two inches, 50mm.
-In a whole day?
-In a whole day.
That would probably be between three men.
During the Middle Ages, mining was a family occupation or a secondary source of cash income.
It was not unusual for farmers to run their farms and operate a small mine at the same time.
This early form of the diversification means that there are many miles of legacy to explore.
We don't know for sure how many miles and miles of tunnels there are
but there it has been suggested
there are at least 3,000 which are actually known about.
But even I can think of one single tunnel which is 4.5 miles long, that's one of many.
Are you hoping to bring groups of people down into the mines and show them the history and what went on?
Yes, that's right. There are some show mines in the Castleton area and where we are here in Matlock Bath,
but the main thing is to actually work out what we've got.
We need to understand what we've got before we can start making decisions about the future.
It's a fantastic world, I think, which at the moment relatively few people get to see, it would be great
if we could find ways to actually broaden the experience of people.
In terms of unique landscape the lead rakes have much to offer, due to the environment, mineral deposits
and the way the land has been managed since the mining operations were abandoned.
They've become home to some very specialist plants.
Because of lead and other heavy metals which remain in the soil
old lead spoil heaps encourage particular plants.
The nationally scarce leadwort, a small white flower, thrives here.
If you looked at a distribution map
of this species you'd find it really closely linked to the ore fields.
It's a nationally scarce plant.
In Derbyshire you only find it on spoil heaps, basically.
Part of the reason they can cope on these lead spoil heaps is that not many other plants can.
-What are those ones over there?
-This is mountain pansy.
You know, one of the features of these sites is that they're unique in that
each spoil heap will have varying levels of lead and heavy metals.
It'll have perhaps a different sort of soil layer on it. If some of them are going to be mainly limestone,
-some of them will have acidic soils.
-How important is it to preserve them?
It's really important to raise awareness to farmers
and to local people, really, because the more people that realise
what's here, the more people will want to keep them, basically.
-They're sitting on a little conservation gold mine.
It's impossible to look across the Peak District without being
reminded of the centuries of lead mining activity that went on here.
Hopefully with this new project, there's now a will to preserve
this historically unique landscape for many years to come.
Continuing my journey I'm walking on the edge of Stanton Moor, which is not only naturally beautiful
but also archaeologically important
with several stone circles and even a Bronze Age burial site nearby.
This area is incredibly peaceful.
It's even home to a herd of wild Norwegian fallow deer.
But it hasn't always been like this.
Only recently this was a battleground over the proposed
extension of a quarry just 200 metres from this spot.
John Craven visited in the heat of the battle.
This stone circle called the Nine Ladies date back to the Bronze Age.
It was built by people who lived in this part of the Peak District
around 4,000 years ago.
Now it's a scheduled national monument.
It's a place of tranquillity. But for how much longer?
Quarrying is one of the major industries in the Peak District National Park.
Producing both blocks of stone for building and aggregates for road making.
Now there are plans to bring back to life a number of quarries
on Stanton Moor in the park that haven't been worked for many years.
And the protests are growing because these quarries are close to the ancient Nine Ladies monument
and to modern-day living.
Just look across here - you can see all those trees.
Those trees are going to disappear because they're going to quarry right through there.
You can see down the bottom there you have a little bit of a wall,
that's my boundary wall,
behind that wall, that piece of ground, it'll get filled up
with what they call spoil - waste.
They're going to bring it all across here and that's
going to come within 50 metres of this property here, my property.
And didn't you know anything about this threat when you bought the house?
We knew the quarries were there but those quarries had never been worked.
This particular one hasn't been worked since 1959.
The other side - Lee's Cross, the other side of the road, hasn't been worked since 1932.
And there has been no need for these quarries to be worked
because there are so many other quarries in the area.
There are more than 60 sites within this national park with quarrying permission,
many of them granted just before the park was created.
Ten of them are now working and many of the others, including
the dormant ones on Stanton Moor, could start up again.
And there's not much that the park planning committee, which was set up
to protect this beautiful landscape, can do to stop them.
If a quarry company wants to use one of these old permissions the planners can insist on certain new conditions.
But then they may run the risk of having to pay out millions of pounds in compensation.
Many planners feel they're trying to do their job with one hand tied behind their back.
It is very frustrating.
They were granted in the days when stone was perhaps taken out
by horse and cart, certainly nothing like the highly mechanised methods used today.
And in many cases the road network is winding and inadequate.
And the effects on the landscape
are of a devastating sort that we just wouldn't allow today.
And yet these permissions cannot be wound up without
-quite a laborious process.
-So, what do you think about that?
Well, I think most people who come into the Peak Park are amazed to see quarries here,
still of this level of impact on the landscape.
But the country does need quarries.
This is the biggest single road-building scheme in Britain,
the new motorway north of Birmingham, and with many more road projects being planned, as well as millions
more houses, there's going to be even greater demand on the quarrying industry to supply aggregates.
They're materials, like sand, gravel and crushed limestone.
On this motorway project they're trying to cut back on the amount
that's taken from quarries by using gravel excavated as they dig the route of the road.
But large quantities of limestone are also needed, and they've got to be quarried.
Sure, we need some.
The question is whether we need to dig quite as much, whether we can't
use them more efficiently, get them from somewhere else.
You look at this road, you can see the damage it's doing, it's covering
27 miles of the West Midlands Green Belt with all the damage to the countryside that comes from that.
But then every mile of that motorway takes 70,000 tons
of aggregates which have got to come from a quarry.
Quarry companies say they're responding to environmental concerns.
At this plant, old concrete is being recycled and the industry has reached
an agreement not to open new quarries for aggregates in national parks.
They resent charges that they're "raping the countryside".
We can only quarry where the good Lord puts the stone.
I think that we've shown, with our attitude with the national parks
over the last three years, that we've taken a responsible view
of where and where we shouldn't be quarrying. We are a vital industry.
We produce the materials that create homes, hospitals, roads, airports.
And yet, we only take one third of 1% of the total land mass of the UK
and I think that's fairly reasonable for such a vital industry.
Back on Stanton Moor, eco-warriors have occupied some
of the dormant quarry sites, hoping to stop any moves to reopen them.
It's now the largest protest camp in the country with around 40 young activists and their main concern
is for the Nine Ladies monument.
Well, it's basically the proximity
of the stone circles where the quarrying is going on at the moment
and where quarrying has taken place
in the past and the fact that it's causing subsidence in the hillside.
We feel that the stone circles themselves, as well as the whole hillside, is under threat.
It's also the whole place is an old quarry that has grown back
and it's over 50 years ago.
It's all took root again now.
There are badger setts, there are Norwegian fallow deer, there are bats, there's two types of owl here.
There's a lot of wildlife and it's 38 acres stretching right
across both sides of the road that could be gone forever.
The quarry companies involved didn't want to talk to Countryfile,
but the scene is set for what could be a major confrontation.
So how could situations like this be avoided?
The government needs to back the local authority, the National Park Authority, much more strongly
than it has hitherto in objecting.
It also needs to look long and hard, as part of its review
of minerals policy nationally, at the whole issue of compensation to quarry operators.
What we would prefer is rather than protest groups lobbing bricks at us from the sidelines, is join us
in a debate that will move this system forward and give everybody an opportunity of having their say.
This highly contentious issue may become a little clearer later this year when the government,
after consulting all sides, publishes new national guidelines
on just how and where quarrying should take place.
One of the joys of Country Tracks is that we get to revisit stories
and see what has happened since.
So I've come back to the protesters' camp to meet Geoff Henson to do just that.
So this is where it all happened.
This is where it all happened, and where it's all finishing.
-What's the outcome?
-Well, the outcome is that we've revocation on the two quarries,
we finally got the government to sign to say that the quarrying here
would be revoked for ever and a day.
You must have a big smile on your face.
We are very chuffed. But common sense has ruled.
That's what it's important. Common sense has taken over.
And through talking to people, we've realised that quarrying
has always taken place here and it'll remain to take place here, but in a much smaller way.
I can't help notice all this activity behind us. What's going on?
Well, the tree houses are all down now.
They're taking them down now.
This is all part of the agreement with the protesters.
-Are the original protesters here?
-Oh, yes. There's Ann. Here she is.
-You must feel so thrilled - how long have you been here?
-Nine years and the camp's been here for nearly ten.
-So this has probably become your home over that time.
-It is, yes.
It's nice to be able to leave it as woodland as well to regenerate.
-I have a spare pair of hands. Is there anything left to be done?
-OK, do you see that little barbecue?
The Nine Ladies issue was resolved after the Peak District National Park Authority negotiated a deal.
This involved the company that owns the quarry giving up its right to work the site in return
for extending another quarry in a less sensitive area.
Right, I think that's almost the last thing. I'll pass you that.
What happens to all this stuff now?
Well, the whole camp was built from recycled materials and we're recycling as much of it as possible
-So it will be re-used?
-Fantastic. Well, good luck with whatever you do next.
-Thanks very much.
-You don't need to clean your hands! Congratulations to both of you.
-Fantastic. I'm going to go and catch a train, sadly. But good luck.
My travels through the Peak District have taken me from Buxworth Basin,
in the village of Buxworth, on to Kinder Scout and then across
the Hope to Bamford trail to Tin Town.
From there, I travelled across to the Longshaw Estate
and on to Stanton Moor. To end my journey, I'm going to join
the Peak Railway at Darley Dale station.
I'm just in time to catch the Peak Rail service to Matlock
and meet Robin Smith, who's the driver of our train today, the Royal Pioneer.
-How are you?
-Nice to meet you.
Just tell me a little bit about the history of this train.
Right, well, this locomotive was originally designed for shunting
collieries and steelworks.
-So it worked with the industry in this area?
-This is obviously coal-driven. Can we have a look down?
-It's called the Royal Pioneer.
That's correct. After the Royal Pioneer Corps.
-Can I touch that? Is it hot?
-No, that's the water tank.
So, that's the water tank and that's where the steam comes out.
That's correct, yes.
I couldn't help but notice back here, just peering out, presumably, that's a fireman, or firewoman.
-You've got all the coal dust all over your face.
-That's the dirty job.
-How much coal does it take to run one of these?
In a working day, including lighting up and working the train, you're looking at about a ton and a half.
Obviously, there are a number of different types of steam train and one of the obvious differences
-is between oil and coal-driven steam trains.
The main difference is Lisa's job.
Instead of using a shovel to apply the coal,
she'll use control valves to feed the oil into the firebox.
Briefly, remind me how
-a steam train works.
-Well, you have a fire in the firebox,
which is heating the water in the barrel around the fire box itself.
That in turn creates steam and the steam is sent down to cylinders
where it'll act on pistons, through a crank,
just like the pedals of a bicycle and that drives it along.
And off we go. This is obviously a pretty significant part, given that
the Peak District has a heavy industrial past.
This was a work horse for this area.
Especially on the high peak, where these did sterling work.
-But today, just pulling passengers.
-Just pulling passengers today, yes.
-Like me. Where are you heading today?
-Today, to Matlock.
You've passengers waiting, so I'm going to hop on board. Very nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, Lisa.
Sorry to interrupt your rail journey.
I was wondering whether you've been on Peak Rail before?
Yes, we have. Many times. We're local.
You have been on many times? What is it you love so much about it?
It's just seeing lots of different places, isn't it?
-Yes, I love the countryside and the views.
-Is this your first time on Peak Rail or have you been on before?
-What do you think so far?
-Fantastic. It's great for the kids.
Are you enjoying it? Is it fun?
What do like most about it? Do you like looking outside?
-What's your name?
-Do you like being on the train?
Is it fun? Would you like to be a steam train driver maybe?
No?! That would be a fun job, wouldn't it?
The Peak District was once a haven for industry.
Today, it's a haven for walkers, for ramblers, for cyclists.
They're all here to enjoy and celebrate this magnificent land rather than exploit it.
And I, for one, have enjoyed every single minute of it.
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