Sometimes it seems forever since the beginning of the year – at other times I think it has gone by so fast that it seems like no time at all since I was at Dovestones last autumn, to photograph the morning light at Chew Brook. All through the summer we have read about the masses of visitors flocking to Dovestones, the car park being crammed full and the main road having to be painted with double yellows to stop the ridiculous and dangerous parking…we have heard about the groups taking barbecues up onto the moor, risking yet another moor fire, and mounds of litter being left by the dam by uncaring visitors on a stay-cation or a day trip…and we, who are local, have kept away.
However, this afternoon, September 29th, the weather was so lovely that we decided to risk it and go up to our favourite valley…well it’s only a mile and a half away so no risk really! We were pleasantly surprised that there were lots of parking spaces available near the dam…we had arrived quite late so more cars were leaving than arriving. The notice on the car park machine instructs the visitor to use the machine then sanitise the hands (but no facilities to do that, except I had a small bottle of sanitiser in my pocket). That done, I dashed up the slope of the dam as I saw the light was just about to reach the hills beyond.
I don’t know how many times I have photographed this scene over the years – many, many times – but as the seasons change and the light and shade moves across the landscape, I still find I am as excited as I was the first time I saw it, all those decades ago. So please forgive me if I become boring and show you once more, the beautiful Dovestone reservoir and hills beyond.