Country diary: a thriving verge thick with wild flowers | Country diary

Country diary: a thriving verge thick with wild flowers | Country diary

Winster, Derbyshire: The species were not unusual but the assemblage – like the tumble of old lead miners’ cottages here – was delightful

Pedalling west along Bonsall Lane, on the southern slope of Wyns Tor, I found myself glancing either side at one of the great inflection points of England. To my left, the emerald plateau of high limestone country rolling south to the Midlands. To my right, the purplish-brown smudge of moorland on the northern horizon: the start of the Pennines and gritstone country. At the next junction, I turned right, dropping into the village of Winster.

Some Peak District villages have found their roots hacked at by holiday homes, but Winster seems much as I knew it 30 years ago. It nestles in Wyns Tor’s crook, a tumble of old lead miners’ cottages, each one similar but different, mixing determined independence with the strength of common purpose, all banked up on each other.

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