Welcome to the Eastern Moors blog site. In recent months this has been updated so that wardens, volunteers and supporters can now write blogs, submit photographs and comment on Eastern Moors topics. Please click on an appropriate tab above to get involved. If you are unsure how to post a picture, article or comment then please look at the Users Guide or email us.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Green hairstreak

One of the 'special' butterflies of the Eastern Moors is the green hairstreak. One of our smaller butterflies and one of the earliest to show. It has been recorded in February but it is most numerous about now.
These creatures can be difficult to spot but tend to hang around in groups on the sunnier banks of the Barbrook. I have seen them near where Deadshaw Sic joins the main brook, downstream from Little Barbrook Reservoir.
There are several photos on our Flickr site, but these two stand out for me.

These photos were taken by one of our loyal supporters Bonzo ( real name, Ian). He has spent many hours photographing wildlife and scenery on the Eastern Moors and his own Flickr site is well worth exploring.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Migration time is upon us

Migration time is upon us and our spring bird survey season is getting underway. Willow warblers and chiffchaffs have been around for a little while now, swallows are becoming more frequently seen and wheatears have returned to the lawns here at Barbrook Cottage. I recorded my first redstarts of the year last week on Ramsley (and, excitingly, a passing firecrest!) and we’ve had reports of pied flycatcher back already in the woods at Froggatt. I’m still awaiting my first cuckoo of the year though – have you heard one over the Eastern Moors yet? Let us know in the comments section.
Ring ouzels are returning to the moors and we are hopeful that a pair which has been spotted around White Edge will remain and breed. If you are lucky enough to spot one (or hopefully two!) of these often shy birds while out on the Eastern Moors then please let us know so we can keep track of their progress. Also on the moors we have had golden plover passing through and curlew returning from the coast to their summer breeding grounds.
Curlew productivity and nest monitoring is the main focus of my work this spring. With the help of the rest of the Eastern Moors team and volunteers I will be trying to identify as many of our curlew territories as possible and monitor their progress throughout the breeding season. Curlew populations in the UK are of international importance and have significantly declined in recent years. The RSPB is undertaking research to help establish the factors involved and the extent to which the declines may be linked to moorland habitats and land management, and our work will help contribute to this.
Kim Leyland, Research Assistant, Eastern Moors Partnership

Monday, 14 April 2014

The ultimate natural playground

At the weekend we were treated to a special kind of Wildlife Explorer session. A session offering led activity for those who wanted it and imaginative, creative play in the woods for those who found themselves drawn to the natural playground around them. 

Jenny and Sophie took the group of Wildlife Explorers to a small clearing in the woods, with the aim of creating a future 'woodland craft' site. They suggested some 'clearance' activity for those who fancied pulling up the brambles, followed by making woodland tools ready for future sessions.  Some of the group selected and felled a small hazel tree, from which they went on to make mallets.  In the meantime, a number of children found themselves drawn by the environment around them, ambling off in different directions to tree climb, build dens and construct dams, in what appeared to be their own little woodland world.

The benefits of non-structured activity are endless, and where better to be able to do this than in the ultimate natural playground of the woods? It doesn't need to be a big space, but it does need to be, within reason, unrestricted and free.  Where, under the watchful eye of people who, though careful of a child's safety and wellbeing, believe in allowing children to develop the essential life skill of risk assessing for themselves.

So many of our children's activities are structured, from their school day through to evening and weekend clubs. There is so little time left for them to emerse themselves in an activity that only their mood and environment has chosen for them. We are better at providing this for toddlers, but once a child reaches 9, 10, 11 years and up, we often forget it's importance and significance.  

I am all for structure in the right places and celebrate the opportunities created for our youngsters to learn and experience the things we'd like them to, but we must remember to inject plenty of the one thing that is truly pure and that every child has a right to, and that's real life playtime!


To find out more about Wildlife Explorers, call 01433 637907 or email

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Have you voted yet?

It's going to be on your Youth Ranger hoodie so get your vote in if you haven't already! So far the deer is leading by far with 12 points, the adder is creeping up behind with 7 points, the climber is only just behind that with 6 points and the cup & ring stone is seriously lagging behind with 2 points. 
Will your vote make the difference?

Litter Pick in the Burbage Valley

Youth Rangers - don't forget your invitation to come along and join us in a mass litter pick in the Burbage Valley on Saturday 26th April.

We will meet at Upper Burbage Bridge car park at 10am and help out until about 12.30pm. 

The litter pick is being run in partnership with Peak Mountaineering and the Peak District National Park Conservation Volunteers.

Don't forget to wear sturdy boots and bring waterproofs, a snack and a drink.  The weather is very changeable on the moors and often very different from the weather at home!

Let us know you are coming :)

Bats in Barbrook Valley & Adders on the Moors - so much to see on the moors in May!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Youth Rangers

The Youth Ranger page is reserved for Youth Rangers to add their posts, make comments and share ideas. It is also where they can find out about events, activities and sessions and keep in touch with us and each other.

Youth Rangers - when using this page please remember this is a public site and personal details should not be used.

If you would like to become a Youth Ranger or know someone who might, contact us by emailing

Friday, 4 April 2014


We would love to hear any of your early memories of life on the Eastern Moors.  There is a whole wealth of history that is slowly being lost and we feel this needs recording. Anecdotes, personalities, memories etc will all be much appreciated. Please use the comments link below unless you wish to write a longer article.  If you do, then please email Eastern Moors and we can arrange for you to become an author and include photos if required. At present it is not possible to include photos in comments.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Blog users guide

Thank you for helping develop our blog.
There are 3 ways in which you can contribute to this site.

Firstly you could add a comment to most of our topics.  To do this you need to click on the appropriate tag underneath the header picture.  For example you could click 'sightings'.
Once in this area you need to click on comments (or no comments, if you are the first responder) and then add your text regarding what you have seen.
Finally go down to 'comment as' and scroll down to name.  Add your name or pseudonym or go down to the box marked 'anonymous'. Click the appropriate box and you are finished.
Remember it is not possible to include photos in Comments.

Secondly you could write a full blog.  This is for people who wish to provide a more extensive article about a specific topic.  In this case you need to be designated as an author. To do this you need to email '', to request author status and specify the topic you wish to write about.  Eastern Moors will then add you as an author and you are then free to write a full blog, including photos if required.  Once your blog is complete please click the labels button on the right and click the appropriate label for the subject on which you have written.  This will ensure that all blogs go into the right sections.  It is possible to add photographs and other media to your blog.  Once you are an author you can add other posts without authority (unless you have been removed!)

Thirdly we would welcome your photographs.  We currently have an active site on Flickr which can be accessed from our home page.  Please do not be put off by the high quality of the photographs on this site.  Several top photographers in the area have contributed to our site but this does not mean that it is reserved for them. We welcome all photos which have a story to tell.  If you already have a Flickr account then all you need to do is go to the Eastern Moors Group site and click on the link '+ join group', you can then add photographs to it.  If you currently do not use Flickr, it is very easy to open a free account and place your own pictures on it.  Once they are there then you can join the group as mentioned above.  You will also be able to add your photographs to a wide range of other sites both local and national.  Please contact us if you need any help.

Volunteers. Tell us what you have been doing and comment on any volunteering activities. Full posts can be written as explained in the Users Guide

Dragons and damsels.

The Eastern Moors are a great place to study both damselflies and dragonflies.  Our fast flowing streams are the perfect habitat for the golden ringed dragonfly which is one of the largest in the UK - look for the green eyes!


The season starts in May with the large red damselflies and then before the end of the month we should see the first dragonflies - the four spotted chasers.  In June the blue dragonflies start to appear and our 2 main residents are the broad bodied chaser and the blue tailed skimmer.  Not to be outdone the damselflies also enter a blue period and we regularly find the common blue, the azure and the blue tailed.  It is a real art to distinguish between the first 2 and it is more complicated in that they live within each other's territories.  

broad bodied chaser

July brings the classic dragonfly, the emperor.  This busy large insect rarely settles and can be seen going up and down the pool banks looking for food and a mate. At the same time the emerald damselfly makes it's appearance. This is a dainty creature is abundant in the right conditions and spends much of the day sunbathing, clinging onto a reed or grass.  This is also the time to see the golden ringed dragonfly.

August sees a change as some of the earlier species are dying out and the hawkers start emerging. The main ones on the Eastern Moors are the Common Hawker, the Southern Hawker and the Brown Hawker.  Occasionally we are honoured by the presence of a Migrant Hawker. Each of these species has its own features and on a warm summer evening they can be seen buzzing each other and hunting for midges.

The last dragonflies to emerge are the darters.  Our 2 main residents are the common darter and the black darter.  They love both moving water and stagnant ponds and thrive on the acid moors.  Both insects are quite common although the female black darter is often mis-identified as it is not very black!

male black darter

In mild years dragonflies and a few damselflies can still be seen in early November but a sudden frost can quickly end the season for another year.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Let us have your suggestions for improving the Moors to help visitors and wildlife. Please use the comments link below.

Sightings: Use the comments link below for your recent sightings of any animals, birds, flowers etc. on the Eastern Moors. See the users guide for help

Volunteering is for everyone on the Eastern Moors
Love Outdoors? Love Nature? Love the Eastern Moors?

A year after they ran their Volunteer Taster Day, the Eastern Moors Partnership is able to rely heavily on their dedicated team of volunteers.  The volunteers, through their many hours of sweat and skill, have achieved high level conservation, visitor experience, access, ecological and archaeological monitoring projects. 

The Eastern Moors Partnership, a joint venture between the National Trust and the RSPB, has also recognised the valuable input families can provide, through mutually beneficial Muck In Days.  During the family friendly volunteering sessions, families, of sometimes three generations, have contributed their efforts to giving nature a home on the Eastern Moors through tree felling, pond surveys and spreading heather seed across the moorland. 

Alex Bryant, Warden for the Eastern Moors Partnership, said: “Family volunteering enables local people to get involved and help look after a piece of their local countryside. It is important that people are given ownership and responsibility for these special places to ensure they are cared for both for people and wildlife for years to come.”

The Eastern Moors Partnership are about to launch their new Youth Ranger programme, an exciting opportunity for young adults to get involved in volunteering. Open to individuals with a passion for the outdoors and a love of nature, the Youth Ranger programme aims to give young people an all round experience of what it’s like to work in the world of nature conservation, carefully balancing the needs of people and wildlife.

Youth Rangers will meet once a month on Sunday afternoons, giving plenty of time for a relaxed morning at home first, and will last about three hours. Tasks may include tree felling, stone walling, wildlife surveying, map and compass skills, designing interpretation and delivering events.  The programme also includes opportunities for the young people to identify, plan and deliver projects themselves, giving them an all-round experience and an opportunity to take ownership and responsibility for their group.

Katherine Clarke, Visitor Services Manager for the Eastern Moors Partnership said: “The Youth Ranger Programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get out and active in their local environment, meet new friends with similar interests and gain a wealth of experience during this fun, informative, hands-on programme.”

“Young people often get bad press but there are so many enthusiastic, energetic youngsters out there just waiting for an opportunity to get stuck in, and this is one of those opportunities.”
To find out more about Youth Rangers, adult volunteering or family friendly Muck In Days, email

The Eastern Moors Partnership also run a programme of public events throughout the year. To find out more visit the What’s On pages at

Photos.Please either create a full authored post where you can add photos (see Users Guide), or use our Flickr link to add photos to our Flickr site

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