Leaving the sheep to 'safely graze' on the frost-covered grass, we were stuck by the amount of work which has been done in the area, by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, who have recently acquired much of the surrounding countryside to form what is now referred to as Woodside Nature Reserve (named after the old Woodside Colliery which once stood on the site of the also defunct American Adventure Theme Park. Slack Lane has been completely renovated with stones and other 'hardcore' which once formed part of the car park at the theme park.
Part of the remit of the Wildlife Trust is to utilise animals in order to maintain the grassland habitat. The introduction of some rare breeds of sheep and cattle is a wonderful way of keeping the fields trimmed and free of plants which would otherwise strangle the life from the grassland. Among the best at this task are Highland Cattle and, sure enough, four these beautifully hairy beasts have been brought in to do the job.