I live on the edge of moorland. To be precise Bodmin Moor which is very like Dartmoor and the famous Exmoor known as the home of the Doones in the book Lorna Doone.
Although not as dangerous as years gone since there are now roads criss-crossing the area, there are still long stretches perfect for hiking and orienteering and the wild horse cropped grass rises upwards to be broken by outcrops of granite on the hilltops, known as ‘tors’. Granite is the reason Bodmin moor still exist because farming is almost impossible as every inch the plough will throw up more granite. The extensive walls of stone are all made of granite found in the immediate field and even after building them the soil is barely deep enough for grass. This is subsistence farming.
The true strength of the moors is the beauty of openness, the undulating grasslands, the wild wind and the gorse which not only caresses the moorland with yellow but fills the walks in the summer with fragrance.
And if you are knowledgeable about moorland plants you will see the grass is textured everywhere with red and white and blue. Nature’s flag. It is always chilly on the hill tops, if snow is going to fall it will come first to the Moors, but in a world once so open, these places are dwindling and precious.
It is when you know places like this that you truly understand how landscapes make people.