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One of the many delights of walking throughout the year is to experience at first hand the changes in the seasons week by week.
Last summer seems a long time ago. It was incredibly dry. I was able to walk all day on the Derwent Moors for a day without so much as a speck of mud to show for it. And that was terrain known for its bogs and mud. The reservoir below was drying up and a hosepipe ban once more imminent. (There were of course some lovely sunny days on which to experience the views).
Yet within months we had a winter said to have been the wettest on record. I suppose it might have been in the south and south-west of the country, but I can think of only one weekend when it was not worth making the effort to make the trip into Derbyshire. It has certainly been a spell where the investment in a pair of waterproof gaiters has been well worthwhile, but to see the rivers and streams in full spate has been a delight.
Those of you who know at the road to Baslow may have often seen a cliff with a stream and small waterfall on the left-hand side as you approach the Robin Hood pub. In full flow over the winter, it had dried up at the beginning of March, despite the country having had the wettest winter on record. Already, the fields and riverside paths are drying out and last week, the lightweight boots were given their first outing.
Will those boots have many more trips or will it be a summer for donning full waterproofs? The delight of walking in this country is that no one can tell. But whatever the weather has in store for us, you can guarantee that the ever changing weather will make the effort worthwhile.