Retracing past steps

Mossland rail crossing by Dave Steel

A thoughtful retracing of steps first taken 50 plus years ago, well, it was a quiet sort of day in the wild, as if it was taking stock for the summer.

Although it was still having to stay busy even in this quiet way, for young were still demanding attention and birds, such as whitethroat, were also preparing to raise brood number two before Africa recalled them for the winter.

My legs, as they stepped out onto the ex-peat works (which is crying out for the same Tender Loving Care that the Lancashire Wildlife Trust is bestowing on Little Woolden Moss Nature Reserve), seemed to want only first gear, which in truth suited my memory as it recalled how this area looked way back then..

A sphagnum pooled/purple moor grass landscape, where whinchat nested and that mix of insects and other wildlife, gave a wilderness of beauty on the edge of Salford. It is trying of its own accord when I noted an emerald damselfly.

Steps took me over the level crossing to view yet another site that, through peat extraction, has lost its wildlife but my mind’s eye, as in this modern world way of computers, overlaid this barren area with my memories images of that rich sweep of wild which in truth with effort (by the LWT) could recapture such a treasure of the wild.

Downbeat it seems was my mood in the wild today but it took but a small flock of sand martin for the wild to say there now these birds weren't here back then, so now you can add the hope that the wild does give, for these diminutive birds have started to bring back the wild to this place of wild hope.

Steps back home were in at least third gear as the wild had boosted my 23rd day in the Wild.