The summit of Black Hill in winter

The summit of Black Hill in winter

Walkers heading for two of the Peak District’s top locations can follow an audio trail with free downloads produced by moorland experts.

The Moors for the Future Partnership has produced two new audio files which can be used on MP3 players or iPods.

The trails describe walks on Bleaklow and Black Hill, the Peak District’s second and third highest hills, which are home to large expanses of upland moors.

A Moors for the Future spokesperson said: “Large swathes of Peak District and South Pennine upland have suffered damage as a result of wildfires and 150 years of industrial pollution and the trail routes skirt a number of locations where major landscape scale restoration works are underway to help save our moors.”

The 14½km (9-mile) Black Hill route takes walkers past Laddow Rocks and the soundtrack incorporates information about flora and fauna and examples of birdsong to listen out for.

The Bleaklow Trail, 10km (6 miles) long, takes in Torside Castle and Bleaklow Head, with historical background about the construction of the Woodhead railway line and tunnel and their effect on the landscape.

The Bleaklow audio trail includes information on the Woodhead Tunnels, which now carry electricity cables

The Bleaklow audio trail includes information on the Woodhead Tunnels, which now carry electricity cables

Louise Turner, information officer for Moors for the Future Partnership said: “We were the first in the UK to create audio trails for the countryside and they’ve proved hugely successful.

“Our two new trails are a fantastic way of getting close to one of the UK’s most dramatic landscapes – and of learning how essential the uplands are.

“Walkers should be aware that the upland terrain can be challenging, so suitable clothing – and good navigational skills – are essential.”

The two new trails add to Moors for the Future’s growing family of countryside guides. All 15 audio trails are downloadable via the Moors for the Future website and will also soon be available on iTunes.

The trails are funded by MoorLIFE, an EU LIFE+ project, and offer a soundtrack featuring birdsong, natural and social history and folklore. They also provide an insight into conservation works currently being undertaken by Moors for the Future Partnership.