Britain's first National Park, the Peak District National Park hit 63 years old today and in the the few years I've lived in Derbyshire, it has been a staple location for amazing wildlife and landscape photography. Living just on the southern fringes, I regularly travel into the park to visit the diverse landscapes. With Mountain Hares roaming the wild and exposed peat bogs and moorlands in the north and barns owls nestled within the old barns in the south, there is a wealth of nature that could easily keep a photographer occupied for a lifetime. Within the borders of the Peak District lies Kinder Scout, a moorland plateau that was the site of the 1932 Mass Trespass that eventually led to walkers being given the right to roam on open countryside. This right is now largely taken for granted but began paving the way for creation of national parks. Beneath Kinder Scout lies Jacob's Ladder - a steep stone stairway that marks the ascent on to the plateau. Just before the going gets tough, you pass this little bridge that makes a pretty landscape.

Under Jacobs Ladder    

A large proportion of the northern section of the park is high level moorland, an area known as the Dark Peak. The Mountain Hare, Red Grouse and various summering moorland birds are a great challenge to photograph in what can be quite a tough environment, even in good weather and I've often returned from a day's photography empty handed increasing my desire to go back for another shot. If you're lucky enough to witness some snow on the tops, you can be treated to some terrific conditions. Without the white stuff though, the hares do become a lot easier to spot.

Laying Low  

Further south, nearing the White Peak, Padley offers some first class locations to shoot Burbage Brook and it's no surprise that in Autumn, this becomes a popular location to capture the golden and auburn hews in the leaves contrasted with the moss covered rocks that sit within the brook itself.

Burbage Brook in Autumn