Plan wreck

A layer-cake of history

Twentieth century air crash sites to rocks more than 300 millions of years old

Saturday the 6th of May saw 8 people gather in Gradbach, in the Peak District, to join Austin Knott in visiting a number of Peak District aircraft wreck sites, scattered amongst the surrounding hills, in this attractive corner of the White Peak. Austin took participants to a number of sites where aircraft had been shot down or crashed, both during and shortly after WWII. Austin, who had clearly done considerable research in preparation, told how the crashes happened and the poignant tales of those who lost their lives in them. Along the way Peter Judd added a little bit of geological history by describing how the gritstone hills were made and pointed out a few of the geological features to be seen in the landscape traversed.

Austin took walkers up Gradbach Hill, over to The Roaches (where Austin had arranged for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Jon Rowe to explain to participants the challenges and opportunities arising from managing recreational access to such a popular yet sensitive site), down through the dark awe-inspiring cleft of Lud’s Church and finally up onto Birchenough Hill. Along the way four crash sites were visited, various geological features pointed out and even a tale of cannibalism told!
Staffordshire wildlife talk

This varied peer-led Mountain Training Association activity allowed participants to discover just how much can be added to a walk by drawing from both the man-made and natural features of the landscape to add interest and colour to outdoor activities. Thanks to everyone who took part, the chat along the way was as informative and as entertaining as always during these events!

Peter Judd
MTA member

Photo's by Ian Morton

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