Last Wednesdays walk up to Copy Clough had given me a few ideas so I set off today to explore a little. Following the same route up to Copy Clough brought me out at the top of Ramsden Road, from here I planned to take the ‘long Causeway’ onto Crook Hill. However I couldn’t find an obvious path, especially one with such a grand name! So I went off piste up the hill to the obvious footpaths on top.
I headed over Crook Moor heading towards Crook Hill and had planned to just wander over the moors between the paths. There was however a well walked path in the general direction so I just followed that. This led to a well-made stone circle shelter with great views across the whole of Manchester. Even on an indifferent day in terms of mist and smog, it was still easy to make out the tower blocks in the city centre. Might have to come back up here on a clear day!
Heading back up the hill I had the intention of walking towards Rough Hill. It was from here that it became obvious that these hills were earmarked for some construction, I guessed a wind farm. I looks like the initial surveying was had been done recently and they had used a tracked vehicle to get about. This meant that the damp ground now had wet muddy tracks to cross and as they had kindly followed the footpath, so I had to work my way around it.
The wind farm tracks continued up and over Rough Hill all the way to the quarries at Middle Hill. This was exactly the route I had planned so I followed them all the way. When this wind farm is built it will stretch quite a way round the tops of the valley. The quarry at Middle Hill was abandoned a few years ago but is still used as a dump it would seem! Maybe the wind farm will help tidy up some of the previous industrial incursions to the moors?
I dropped down off Middle Hill and straight back up Brown Wardle. Like most of the hills in the area it has a flat top with no obvious peak (aside from a cairn) and has obviously been worked in years past, either with a quarry or a drift mine. The whole landscape round here has been worked extensively before being abandoned back to the moors.
From Brown Wardle it was a short walk down the rake back to Whitworth. I was a surprisingly hot day so I was glad to get back and rest.