Goyts Moss, a short walk across open moorland

Well, the New Year is here, and to me, it seems to have come round fast, very fast!

The Christmas/New Year celebrations been and gone, time to remove the excess eating and drinking before the return to work.

Now as I type this, I am all too aware many of you will have been working either during Christmas and New Year days, or even just between the two bank holidays.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve been there too, working during the festive period, including Christmas Day, in days gone by.

I was determined to try and get two good walks in during the Christmas/New Year period, and I certainly managed to get the first in, a real corker, Axe Edge Moor, in the snow, and what superb snow conditions I had the pleasure of enjoying.

You can read about that if you haven’t yet in Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart.

Goyts Moss, atop the Goyt Valley and Errwood Reservoir, has been on my tick list for quite some time, which like all open moorland, is managed and used for grouse rearing, with the aim of shooting the grouse later in the year. That time when they shoot the grouse, is often referred to as the Glorious Twelfth.

I'm not going to get involved with the issues around grouse shooting, this blog is centred around my walk across some moorland that's been on my tick list for quite some time.

This was a somewhat disappointing walk, though the land and scenery was what I'm used to and expected. But you'll have to read on to find out why....

Now, all the snow has as good as gone, the rain has arrived, along with the wind and leading up to my last opportunity to get a walk in, I was bamboozled with conflicting weather reports.

Rain, no rain, windy, sunny, snow, sleet, just about everything apart from a hot summer’s day!

So I took a chance, some showers, possibly sleet or snow, definitely windy, the isobars on the synoptic chart told me that, and a chance of some sun, but no real risk of heat stroke…..

Goyts Moss, has been on my tick list for quite some time

For those wondering, what’s a synoptic chart, it’s a black and white schematic diagram showing predicted weather fronts and wind flows, with lots of lines that show the airflow, which the closer they are, the stronger the wind will be.

An example of a Synoptic Chart for 0600 Sun 4th Jan 2015
These charts have a date and time to which they relate to,
printed in the top left corner

It also has lines that can cut across the wind flows, often called fronts. If it has triangles on, that’s a cold front, often means rain, or some form of precipitation, semi circles mean a warm front and a combination of semi circles and triangles, an occluded front which is where a cold and warm front collide, for want of an easy explanation.

I not only obtain my weather forecasts from the Met Office, but other sources, often those close to the area I’m interested and also by checking at least once a day, these synoptic charts.

With that, I had a dilemma, there was no consistency in the weather forecasts, and the weekend was taken up with family commitments, so the intended second walk might not happen.

After studying the weather forecasts and looking at the synoptic chart, I made a last minute decision; I was going out for a wander.

But where, the tick list was full of day long walks!

So I just opened up Memory Map at where I had left it, covering Axe Edge Moor, and thought, Goyts Moss. A nice small enough area, terrain I’m familiar with, moorland, boggy moorland, groughs, the possibility of big detours to avoid the water table and sinking in bogs, even though I’d not been there before.

So, it was grab my pack, which is kept packed and ready for the off, only this time, no food or emergency rations, which I would pick up en-route, put it in the car, and go.

I had planned on a lunchtime arrival, with a two and a half hour drive ahead of me, and that was no surprise, and it all went to plan.

So a detour to my local shops to get lunch and a couple of MARS bars, then a drive to Derbyshire Bridge.

I arrived at Derbyshire Bridge around 11:30, to a dark cloud hanging over the moors, strong winds and a brief precipitation of sleet.

Nothing I hadn’t anticipated after my initial trawl through the weather forecasts.

After a few seconds deliberation, my tummy won, I felt the best option was to have an early lunch, then get suited and booted, for it could be difficult finding a wind break for lunch on the moors.

Suited and booted, I set off for the car park entrance then followed the track down towards Errwood Reservoir, for a short distance, before taking the first path off to my left and ascend on to Goyts Moss.

Derbyshire Bridge Car Park

Entering the road that comes up through Goyt's Clough

Once atop Goyts Moss, the path disappears, totally, not even a faint trace, and was unsurprisingly waterlogged. But then what would you expect, high moorland, the snow we had only a few days previously had well and truly thawed.

I was on open access land.

The track up to Goyts Moss

Through this style to reach the moor

My route, was to the top of Errwood Reservoir, stopping at the wooded area, cutting across and back towards the Cat and Fiddle Pub. A very short walk, but that was intended in view of the late start.

So I followed my imaginary (sometimes you need a good imagination out here to keep some sanity) route, towards the wooded area, crossing a couple of deep groughs on my way, nothing out of the ordinary, all expected, but I found the whole area wasn’t appealing to me!

Unsurprisingly it was waterlogged.
Also I passed a series of grouse butts
That is out of character for me, I always enjoy the scenery no matter what, but
here, it just didn’t bite the biscuit!

I continued on, it was exercise, I was out and the weather was being gently, even if the wind was 19.1mph.

Then it hit me, the moorland wasn’t photogenic, nothing inspired me to grab my camera!

There were no distant views to savour, no landmarks to see and the moorland across Ravens Low, to the East, was a patchwork of vegetation!

Truly man managed!

This is NOT a criticism of land management, or the scenery around. I know, and have said many times, these moors are managed, but this didn’t appeal to me, personally. Now before anyone shoots me down verbally or in print, I immediately started to look at possible reasons why, too numerous to mention here.

However, I'll not get in to the debate about land management, but to leave that up to your own minds.

Look to the top right of the photo and you see the patchwork moorland

I will say, perhaps there was very good reason for the extensive patchwork, for I’m just a visitor who respects the countryside and I’ll leave it at that.

So I was on an instant downer, no navigation challenges, I just enjoyed the exercise, but couldn’t wait to see the walk end.

Unsurprisingly, when I arrived at the wooded area, the trees were too many and too thick to view Errwood Reservoir and I had no intention of going any further, that was my backstop to cut across the moor and head for the Cat and Fiddle before returning to the car at Derbyshire Bridge.

Once at the wooded area, I then visually plotted my course across the moor, following a clearly defined track, down Deep Clough and westerly towards Stake Clough to pick up the path that heads South West back towards the A537 Macclesfield Road.

The route down across Deep Clough, on to Stake Clough

So off I set, initially heading westerly, down in to Deep Clough and soon back out of it, climbing up to a high point before dropping down in to Stake Clough.

As I came up and out of Stake Clough, I had the urge, and time was well within my favour, so was the weather, to try some fresh, moorland, running water. Especially as I was high enough and close enough to its feasible source, to see no dead animals, in or close to the water course, and use my water filter.

Getting the water from a stream

You can just make out the brown, peat sediment in the water

Filtered clear and drinkable water

Cheers folks.
Incidentally, my filter has a jacket around it to reduced the risk of freezing

The filter, a Sawyer Mini Filter, has been a part of my kit for a good while, and a handy item to have as a backup hydration system. The first time I encountered a water filter was back in June 2013, while walking Axe Edge Moor, on a wet day, when Barney, a fellow walker, introduced myself and the two other guys with us, to the water filter.

You read about that day in Axe Edge Moor, the Cat and Fiddle pub and a Stag Do and see the video Sawyer Water Filter and also while at Kinder Downfall, enjoying a brew Sawyer Water Filter and Jetboil.

The Jetboil is another nice piece of outdoor kit.

That too was another fabulous day out, walking to Kinder Downfall and watching water going up a waterfall! You can read about that day in Mill Hill, Kinder and Kinder Downfall.

That has reminded me, I must update the What's in my pack? this gives an insight to many of the items I carry when out walking, to incorporate the addition of the water filter.

Anyway, I’ve digressed. Suitably refreshed, I continued my way towards the path near to State Farm, eventually meeting up with the path that runs SSW (200º).

...."I continued my way towards the path near to State Farm,
eventually meeting up with the path that runs SSW (200º)"....

This path is quite firm and makes for easy walking back towards the A537 Macclesfield Road, which pretty much is the theme for the rest of the walk, much of which is along the road side.

Walking the path, the Cat and Fiddle Pub soon comes in to sight, but by now, you will have seen the radio mast that is close to the Cat and Fiddle, making a good land mark for navigation on a clear day.

Fortunately, there is a reasonable grass strip alongside the A537, taking you across the frontage of the Cat and Fiddle Pub, to pick up the track off to Derbyshire Bridge.

...."there is a reasonable grass strip alongside the A537,
taking you across the frontage of the Cat and Fiddle Pub"....

At this point, I came away from the road for a short while, and back on to the moor, to grab a view over towards Errwood Reservoir and over Buxton. I thought for a second or two, the plateaus was Kinder, but then I realised, no way, especially when I took a compass bearing that confirmed neither Kinder, nor Bleaklow, were in view.

Looking over to Combs Moss and more patchwork moorland!

Zoomed in view of Errwood Reservoir

It was Combs Moss, to the North West of Buxton. This was confirmed by identifying a landmark, in this case a radio mast, which actually was a TV Mast, on a bearing of 60º.

Following that bearing on the map, took me to the TV Mast on Brown Edge, near to Turner Lodge Reservoirs.

TV Mast on Brown Edge, Buxton,
viewed from near the Cat and Fiddle Pub

Back to the road, and I headed for the turn off to Derbyshire Bridge, following the road down, past the junction with another track, straight in to the car park at Derbyshire Bridge.

Passing the Cat and Fiddle Pub, heading for Derbyshire Bridge

The road off the A537 Macclesfield Road, to Derbyshire Bridge

Continue straight down to Derbyshire Bridge

The Car Park at Derbyshire Bridge
 A final summing up, would I walk this area again?

Yes, but I would make quite a few changes and possibly not covering the complete route, but certainly parts of it.

It had been on my tick list and even though I didn’t find it appealing, I don’t regret in any way walking that part of Goyts Moss. Let’s be honest, it was a quickly put together route based on short available time and the low but present risk of inclement weather.

Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,
Peak Rambler

Twitter           @PeakRambler
Photo Album Peak Rambler Flickr Photo Album  
YouTube       Peak Rambler on YouTube


Links to some of the items I’ve mentioned and written about here:
Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart
Open Access Land
Axe Edge Moor Winter Walk and I’m a BIG kid at heart
Axe Edge Moor, the Cat and Fiddle pub and a Stag Do
Sawyer Water Filter
Sawyer Water Filter and Jetboil.
Mill Hill, Kinder and Kinder Downfall
What's in my pack?
Glorious Twelfth

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