Limestone

limestone
/ˈlʌɪmstəʊn/
noun
a hard sedimentary rock, composed mainly of calcium carbonate or dolomite, used as building material and in the making of cement.

Google Dictionary

Dry stone walls litter the landscape, dividing the green fields of the white peak, winter snow throws up icy piles against the walls as the wind creates drifts that spilling over the tops, become pitted with paw prints, dirtied with quarry dust holding a brief memory that soon melts in the thaw and is lost.

In spring the stones provide a little shelter from the sun, the wind and the rain. Sheep huddle forlornly against them hoping to die. Wrens scuttle in and out of the holes and gaps, nesting in the nooks and crannies and as spring warms into summer, Wheatears race each other along the tops of the walls.

In places time has taken its toll and the walls have collapsed or been robbed. Badgers have lowered a way through, leaving the stones mud stains and claw scratched from their nightly progress from sett to feeding pastures.

And beneath the walls criss crossing the landscape, and under the thin soil, the limestone rock moulds the scenery above, determining the shape of the land and the flora that covers it. 

And it defined how we have shaped the land, through quarries, first for field boundaries then barns for cattle and homes for the people. Reservoirs, roads and railway tracks followed as limestone was burnt and processed for industry and agriculture. 

We have littered the landscape with the stone boundaries of lost fields and farms, of roads that go nowhere, of abandoned barns and home steads. 

And slowly as the seasons pass, nature reclaims them for her own.

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