Grimy Gutter Hags

Grimy Gutter Hags; what a fascinating name. On the slope of Little Shunner Fell, an outlier of its bigger brother Great Shunner Fell in the Yorkshire Dales.

A hag is the northern name for an exposed, eroded face of peat, too steep for the heather to grow and which is further eroded by wind, sheltering sheep or water dripping from the overhanging heather.

Grimy Gutter Hags is part of the High Abbotside estate which boasts, on numerous notices, that it is the “largest moorland Regeneration Scheme and Black Grouse recovery scheme in the Pennines”. I didn’t see any Black Grouse (although I did see one yesterday on the moors beyond Keld) but there were plenty of Red Grouse.

Now I may be being a bit thick here but I don’t see how a shooter crouched behind the shooting butt can tell the difference between a Black Grouse or its red cousin flying overhead.

On the horizon, just left of centre, can be seen the distinctive flat top of Ingleborough, the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, at 723 metres (2,372 ft).

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