Lady Clough Forest
12th March 2017
A 6am start is never an easy objective, but having moved back to my folks house in Leicester, it made for an even earlier start than usual. I arrived at Mam Tor only 10 minutes behind schedule, having already been up and driving for the best part of two hours, and met up with Mike (@atter.cliffe) and Dave (@davewassphoto) on the road adjacent to the car park. Despite all our optimism and best hope, the weather forecast had been true, and everything was shrouded in a thick blanket of fog. We opted to make the short dash up to the summit just in case the clouds were to part and reveal a golden sunset, but again our positive hopes were dashed as the mist got thicker the higher we climbed.
Accepting the fact that the weather opportunities weren’t ideal for shooting any outside landscapes, we decided to make the best of the situation and head to the woods. Between the three of us we have a pretty decent knowledge of the area, and decided upon heading to one of the nearby woodlands that is stunning in all types of weather: Lady Clough Forest. One of the things I really love about shooting landscapes and nature is the need to react and respond to the weather and light; sometimes it’s getting yourself in the right place at the right time, and others making the most of what you’ve got. That old lemons into lemonade scenario.
I’ve been to Lady Clough in a range of different weather, but I don’t think I’ve seen it when it’s had such a good large amount of cloud hanging around it as this. The forest itself is one of those woodlands that has an aura and atmosphere about it; it feels old, ancient, experienced. The varied altitude of the track as you wind around corners and up hills leaves you feeling confused and disoriented, which is mixed with the strange awareness that you’re being watched, or followed.
Areas of forestry work are scattered throughout the woodland, leaving large open clearings amongst the trees where the fog hangs and dances between the pines. We walked the length of the woodland before descending back down to the sound of the rushing river, following its banks until we completed our circuit back to the cars. Even with the foggy start hours earlier, we managed to have a really enjoyable morning having persevered to overcome the difficulties of the British weather to find beauty in the woodland