A wonderful place to discover spectacular views of the Peak District, ancient woods, parkland and heather moorland. White Edge Moor overlooks the Derwent Valley and forms part of the long gritstone edge stretching from Stanage towards Birchens Edge, south of Chatsworth House. If you have time, discover the old quarry workings at Bole Hill.
Here are some of the places you can visit at Longshaw and Eastern Moors:
*** – Wild Red Deer – ***
Longshaw, the surrounding area and the Sheffield Moors, are host to a herd of about 170 red deer which roam widely, with sightings as far away as Dore and Totley, Froggat and Calver, and the Burbage Valley. Discover more about these majestic creatures as they prepare for the rutting season. Among other spectacular wildlife, the Eastern Moors and Longshaw are home to a completely wild herd of red deer, the largest land mammal in the UK. Easily recognised by their magnificent antlers, stags (males) weigh in at up to 240kg and stand 1.3m high at the shoulder. Hinds (females) are smaller and don’t have antlers. They’re territorial and a large herd lives on Big Moor, which is where the stags head back to in September for the rut.
The autumn spectacle of the rut starts in mid-September and runs until mid-October. Males compete with each other for the choice of females to mate with. Their bellows can be heard resonating across the moors, and if the loudest roar doesn’t decide the dominant male, stags will size each other up with ‘parallel walking’. Equally matched males will occasionally lock antlers, aiming to use their massive strength to push the other male bodily out of their territory.
The winner of these competitions is rewarded with a harem of females with whom they breed. Older and younger males often live on the periphery of the group hoping to mate with another stag’s females while he is otherwise occupied. Mature males in peak breeding condition are around 8 years old and can have a crown of antlers with up to 16 points, known as a “monarch”. A walk along White Edge at this time is often rewarded of year with a sighting of these enigmatic animals. If you'd like to take part in a guided red deer event this Autumn, visit the Eastern moors website for information.
*** – Visiting – ***
The pond at Longshaw is a much loved and iconic feature of the Landscape. It is also an important historic feature that is home to an abundance of wildlife and provides an area for much needed peace and calm for visitors.
The fish pond, as it was called on an 1833 map, appears to be the same shape and in the same location as today’s pond. A pier and boat house appeared by 1889, with the pond being used for boating and swimming by the Duke of Rutland and his guests.
Today the pond is an important habitat, it provides a home to many types of wildlife, including newts, ducks and water voles. The work to repair the pond will maintain this valuable habitat, restore the historic feature and ensure it can be enjoyed by our visitors.
Longshaw Lead Ranger Rachel Bennett braved the November downpours recently to check the new repairs to the pond,“The pond is a focal point for visitors, but it’s been leaking for quite a few years,” she said. “This October we’ve been fixing the leak with our contractors, so we hope once the rain stops a bit, the path by the pond will be a lot drier in future.”
The stones lining the clay bank had been collapsing into the pond for years, and repairs had to be carefully carried out to maintain the pond’s archaeology as well as protect the animals that live there, including newts, toads and frogs, damselflies and dragonflies and flocks of mandarin and mallard ducks, among many others.
Before starting the repair work, Rachel and National Trust ecologist colleague Chris Wood had to check all the pond’s amphibian residents had left for their winter homes in nearby mud and log piles. Rachel continues,“If anyone was out walking at dusk in October they’d have seen Chris and me with powerful torches sweeping the pond for two hours looking for frogs, toads and newts,” she said. “We didn’t find any so we knew we could go ahead.”
A temporary dam was put in place around a six metre section of wall to carry out the work using the original stones, which took two weeks.“The pond is a really important feature for visitors, particularly for families and people with buggies, and when we said we had to carry out repairs people were really keen to help,” said Rachel.
The restoration work to the ponds is now complete and we would like to thank our visitors and supporters who helped to make this project possible, "we’d really like to thank the many people who contributed to our pond repair raffle,” Rachel said. “The raffle raised nearly £3,500 towards the repairs, so the newts, frogs and mandarin ducks - and the runners and walkers who’ve been wading through puddles for years - would like to say thank you too!”
*** – Facilities – ***
Location : Longshaw, near Sheffield, Derbyshire
Transport: Grindleford Station (National Rail) 1.5 mile walk on a footpath uphill from the station to the tea-room and shop through Padley Gorge ancient oak woodland. Bus Routes : Services from Sheffield and the Peak District. Alight at Fox House, which is a short walk from Longshaw. For bus timetables please click here.
Opening Times Estate: 09:00 to 19:30; otherwise dawn till dusk.
Tickets : Free
Tel: 01433 631757