The last Sunday of September, we walked part of Saddleworth’s Delph Trail up to Castleshaw Lower Reservoir. It’s a local area that I explore every year looking for wildlife subjects to photograph, but I have never photographed the landscape here before – how odd! In fact, the first photo opportunities at Hull Mill Pond were ducks, a lone swan and some common darter dragonflies on the wing…but today I was travelling light with just a camera with a 17-40mm lens over my shoulder.
The ford, where Hull Brook crosses the old road is where Hull Mill Lane ends and Grange Lane begins. To the right is the path that runs between Hull Brook and the mill pond.
It was a wonderful clear early autumn day, cool but without wind, so it felt warm in the sunshine. It wasn’t a day to take landscape competition pictures, the contrasty light and deep blue sky being more in tune with calendar photographs and postcards. However, I’m a photo-junkie so I just had to take the pictures anyway. The first panorama is Hull Mill Pond, a relic of Delph’s industrial past.
Less than a mile up the Castleshaw Valley from Hull Mill is the Castleshaw Lower Reservoir. This is close to the site of Castleshaw Roman Fort, just to the east of the dam. The fort was a garrison on the Roman road from Chester crossing the Pennines on its way to York. The area is possibly also the site of an ancient Brigantian settlement called “Rigodunum”. But the fort wasn’t our destination today. The panoramic shot of the reservoir, below, is taken looking towards the north and east from the dam.
Walking back towards Delph gave opportunities for some more landscapes as the sun was a little lower in the sky and a few more wispy clouds were beginning to form. Since we were only three miles from home, we just popped back for late afternoon coffee and cake! Job done. How lucky we are to live in so lovely an area.