On days when I don’t want to run too far I prefer to practice my navigation skills. Burbage Moor is a small area of moorland close to Sheffield that is relatively flat with few features and so offers a challenge for those wanting to work on their micro-navigation.
The featureless terrain makes precise navigation tricky and to complicate matters the area close to the pond is also waterlogged with some large marshy puddles.
The Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 map shows a tiny pond approximately 200 metres west of the Houndkirk Road. I decided that I would try to find it by counting my paces and walking on a compass bearing. Counting 400 metres from the bend in the track I took a bearing to the north-west and paced another 300 metres. Deep heather and wet ground added a further difficulty when counting paces but I managed to locate a small area of water which I took to be the pond.
Satisfied that I was in the right place my next target was the 438m spot height shown on the map 600m north-west. Again it was a slog through the heather, my bearing taking me close to a small cairn of stones which although on high ground I didn’t think was the spot height.
By now the sky was threatening the heavy showers that were forecast and the wind had a chill to it so I pushed on, more walking than running through the thick heather. As I turned towards the north a complete rainbow appeared over the distant Ox Stones.
I turned East now aiming for the broken wall and as the ground dropped slightly, patches of stony peat showed through the heather. I followed this still keeping an eye on the rainbow as it arced down into the trees of Lady Canning’s plantation.
I work my way through the last of the year’s bracken and reach the wall, which I find to be tall and well built and in surprisingly good repair.
Following the wall for 300m I come to the Houndkirk Road, an ancient turnpike now resurfaced to prevent further erosion and come across an old milepost giving distances to Tideswell and Buxton.
A quick trot down the track, back to the car park and home for tea.