Leaving Errwood Hall and the confines of the woodland, we began the steady pull up to the top of Shining Tor; Errwood Reservoir behind us, with the sailing club beginning to turn out for their Sunday meet.
I love this old stone gatepost with its growth of lichen.
Reaching the top, we found a very welcome bench, carved with an inscription to mark the 50th anniversary of the Peak Park Ranger Service in 2004. It began in 1954 with one full time warden assisted by several enthusiastic volunteers. Now, there are 14 separate areas, each with its own full time warden. Added to this are the five extra full time wardens, plus the warden with specific responsibility for The Pennine Way, plus a small army of volunteer rangers. It's grown a bit!
The task of the Ranger Service is to manage open access areas and be a key point of contact between the National Park Authority, the visiting public and the local population, so they lead walks, care for local wildlife, manage and repair footpaths and meet people in the community to teach them about the National Park; how to care for it and what it has to offer.
Finally, just over the wall by the bench was the trig point to mark the summit of Shining Tor. Formed of Chatsworth grit, the hill does not quite qualify for mountain status, being 166' short of the required 2,000', but is still the highest point in Cheshire (into which we had strayed at some point in our climb).
On a clear day, the views are stunning, with more ridges of hills behind what is visible in my photo, but with the calling of the larks and the smell of the moorland, it was still beautiful.