Our summer family break in West Bay, Dorset
Our summer family break in West Bay, Dorset
This weekend, to mark our 40th birthdays we planted Giant Sequoias with One Life One Tree at their planting site near Abergavenny. Sequoias are the world’s largest growing tree species and capture up to 10x more carbon per hectare than a traditional woodland, so should capture the equivalent of a person’s lifetime carbon footprint.
The site in Abergavenny was previously a commercial woodland grown as a mono-culture so the projects involvement there will increase biodiversity on the site with the planting of Sequoias along with the additional native species they will be planting alongside them.
Laura got me my Sequoia for my birthday in May and we’d been looking forward to the planting opportunity since then. On Saturday morning I surprised her with the news that I’d arranged for her to plant a tree too so we would both have Sequoias planted side by side.
We walked up to the planting site from the town of Llanellen where they had reserved parking spaces at the town hall. The walk was a continual incline across fields and over the Monmouth and Brecon canal. Whilst the hill-side itself is very steep, fortunately we didn’t need to go to far up to our spot for planting.
The site had been prepared with undergrowth clearance, paths and planting spots, so once we’d reached out planting spots we just needed to clear the clear the grass for the area our trees would be planted and dig the hole for the tree.
We then placed the trees in the ground, surrounded them with soil and patted them in firmly.
Covered the surrounding area with a mulch mat which prevents other growth too close to the tree and keeps the moisture in. After a couple of years these and their fastenings will bio-degrade.
It’s amazing to think how different this hillside will look in the future as the Sequoias and the native trees being planted alongside mature, a total of over 8 thousand trees, bringing quite a transformation from how it looks today.
We had a really great time planting the trees and enjoying the surroundings in Wales - the planting experience was really well organised and it all seems thoroughly thought through to ensure the trees make a positive impact. A great way to mark a milestone birthday!
We had a fantastic weeks holiday up in the Peak District staying in Hathersage. We fitted in lots of exploring of the surrounding area, but still a lot more to see and do.
On the way up to the Peak District, we visited my parents for a couple of days before heading on further. From there we stopped at Hardwick Hall on the way where we started with lunch before looking around the hall. We learnt about the formidable Bess of Hardwick who had built both this and Chatsworth. We then explored the grounds - particular highlights being the swifts swooping across the lawn in front of the house and the impressive stumpery.
Then as we neared Hathersage, we made one more stop at Owler Tor for our first taste of some tor scrambling for the holiday.
Sunday was our only really wet day so we waited until the evening to set out exploring and headed across through Winnats Pass to the National Trust Mam Tor car park and walked from there up to the trig point at the top. After the blustery walk at the top of Mam Tor, we headed back down for a walk through the pass.
We then finished the day off returning to the car park by Owler Tor, but this time headed off the other direction to Surprise View to watch the sunset.
The next day we set off early to visit Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs where we rented bikes and cycled around the side of the Derwent reservoir. The Derwent Dam is where the dambusters practised their low flying techniques using converging spotlights from the nose and tail of the plane to gauge their height. The dam was chosen because of it’s resemblence to the German dams.
On Tuesday we walked from the cottage to the River Derwent and then followed the path along the side of the river to the Hathersage Stepping Stones where we had our picnic lunch. The girls had a great time going back and forth across the river on the stepping stones, before we headed back across the fields and railway into Hathersage to finish off with a drink. This was a lovely riverside walk with fantastic views across to the peaks along the way.
We set off early on Wednesday morning up to Stanage Edge to get there before it got busy and had the edge to ourselves. After that we headed into Bakewell to look round and (of course) get a Bakewell tart! On the way back we visited the David Mellor design museum in Hathersage - where is was interesting to see the wide range of design that he had been involved in from cutlery to traffic lights and bus shelters.
On Thursday, we spent the day at Chatsworth House. Starting off with the first slot to visit the house and then the rest of the day in the grounds.
After the day at Chatsworth, I still managed to make it up to Stanage Edge again to the High Neb Trigpoint for Sunset.
Friday morning we booked an early bird ticket for the Treak Cliff Cavern - they had a brilliant mobile app based system for a self-guided tour which would play the commentry as you made your way through the cave system. We were the first group in so it was nice having the caves mostly to ourselves and not have anyone in front of us. After this and a look around Castleton we headed up to Bamford Edge where we had fantastic views of the reservoirs we’d visited earlier in the week and the vivid heather.
Saturday marked the end of our time in the peak district, so after we’d packed up we made one more stop on our way back at the Longshaw Estate where we had a short walk with great views back over the edges we’d been exploring followed by a snack before heading on our way home.
Great South Run weekend is here! Today we had the 5k run which Laura, Anne and Des took part in and all did very well, and Abi’s 1.5k Mini Run - even Jessica was enjoying running on the race track they had there and is keen to do the mini run next time round.
Now all that’s left is my one tomorrow - I’m going to be running the 10 mile Great South Run for the first time to raise money for gain. If the technology works you should be able to watch live at http://runkeeper.com/user/rickymoorhouse and you can sponsor me at http://justgiving.com/rickymoorhouse . I’ll update this again tomorrow after the race!
My run went well - I really enjoyed it and there was a fantastic atmosphere around the course. I managed to beat my target and come in with a time of 1:59:42