The end of 2012 will not just see the end of the Queens Diamond Jubilee but the end of two years of celebration for six of Britain’s national parks. The next Diamond anniversary in the parks will not be till 2014 so I thought it was worthwhile just revisiting those six parks and sharing with you one of my favourite images from each park. I have been fortunate to visit all six parks, five of which were actually visited in the two years of celebrations.
It all started in April 2011 when the first National Park in Britain celebrated its 60th birthday. The Peak District is my closest park, the boundary of which is only about 20 minutes drive away and yet my first real photographic visit only took place earlier this year. On that visit I was fortunate to capture an image of a cloud formation the like of which I have not seen before, over the The Roaches which with Hen Cloud, Five Clouds and Ramshaw Rocks, form the gritstone escarpment which marks the south – western edge of the park. These delicate strokes of high altitude ice crystals are part of the cirrus family of clouds known as feather clouds or mare’s tails.
Time to catch your breath now before two more anniversaries in the Autumn. The first of those being Snowdonia and the national park where I have spent most time walking over the last ten years and an area I know reasonably well.
The image below showing the Snowdon Horseshoe, which is one of the most famous and popular views in Snowdonia was captured many years ago and although I would like to think that my photography as improved since then it was still good enough to win the Snowdonia Society Photographic Competition in 2005.
Just two weeks after Snowdonia’s celebrations it was the Dartmoor National Park’s turn and the last one of 2011.
On my trip to Dartmoor in the Spring of 2011 I was not well blessed with good light for landscape photography although as this was my fist photo visit to the area I did find the landscape very wild and dramatic and there were many opportunities to find that solitude that I so enjoy when capturing the landscape. One of the images captured shows Feather Tor and although not one of the most famous of the Tors it gave me the opportunity to include one of those rare Dartmoor trees.
2011 would be a difficult act to follow and even more so with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics but the two National Parks still to celebrate did us proud.
First up in February was Pembrokeshire Coast which was the one park I did not visit during the two years of celebrations. My last visit to the area was in late Summer 2007 – doesn’t time fly. The image below shows Porthselau, a small sandy cove to the west of the large beach at Whitesands on the St David’s peninsula with a view across Porth-mawr to the granite outcrops of Carn Llidi.
Last but not least was the North York Moors which I managed to visit in the late Summer shortly before the celebrations. The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, spectacular coast, ancient woodland and historic sites. I managed to visit most of the locations on my list including the many roadside crosses for which the park is so well known and at a time when the moorland was a magnificent colour from the flowering heather as can be seen below on Goathland Moor. Close by is the village of Goathland which was the setting of the fictional village of Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series set in the 1960s.
So that brings to an end the “Diamonds in the Landscape” review I must not forgot to mention that 2012 also saw the 10th anniversary of the first national park in Scotland at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
Although 2013 will seem rather quiet after the last two years I do have one significant project I am hoping to start, so until then may I wish you all a very Happy New Year.