Ladybower from Stanage Edge on Flickr.
Stanage Edge is part of an outcropping of millstone grit (the local course sandstone), part of the same ridge that winds its way through the landscape forming Curbar and Froggat Edges to the South, through Burbage, Stanage, and High Neb. The gritstone gives the Dark Peak its name; it forms a cap that sits atop the limestone visible in the White Peak part of the national park, and can be a bleak, wild place. Much of it has never been wooded, being too high and windswept for trees to colonise since the glaciers retreated from the area a little over six thousand years ago. Most of the area is covered with tough grass and heather, with the characteristic jut of the grey boulders, carved by wind and rain.
The soil is peaty (many of the rivers and streams run the colour of tea), but shot through with sand from eroded conglomerate and is often more boulder than soil. This lack of utility for agriculture is why the area is still a wilderness; only the tough sheep can make use of the land, and even then the meagre herds stretch over large areas to find sustenance.
As a child most summer weekends would involve a trip out here, a bus ride out of the city with potted meat sandwiches and bottles of pop which would be placed in a stream to keep cool while I and all my friends that my mother had rounded up would explore and climb, seeing who could travel the furthest without stepping on soil or grass or swarming up some of the great up-ended slabs of rock like mountain goats.
If I ever move away it will have to be to somewhere with comparable terrain, and this place will still live in my bones.