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Staffordshire's 1,000-Foot Peaks by Jeff Kent

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

  • Jeff Kent during his book signing at the Red Lion in Leek in November 2013.

  • Jeff Kent during his book signing at the Red Lion in Leek in November 2013.

  • Jeff Kent during his book signing at the Red Lion in Leek in November 2013.

  • Jeff Kent during a book signing at The Red Lion in Leek.

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STAFFORDSHIRE'S 1,000-Foot Peaks is the first-ever published guide to the 65 hills of the county by author Jeff Kent.

The peaks were all identified and climbed by Jeff from April 1 to December 31, 2012, the first person ever to complete the feat, and he has collectively named them The Staffordshire Kents, after his parents Cyril and Helen Kent, who loved the Staffordshire hills.

The book is in part a travelogue, in which the trials and tribulations of his conquests are told.

The 62-year-old said: "My journey began in warm sunshine with the ascent of the steep scarp slope of The Cloud, a dramatic-shaped hill, with excellent views across the Cheshire Plain, and ended on New Year's Eve with a trek back to the car from Cheeks Hill in twilight in dense fog and a deluge.

"In between were many moments of elation, difficulty, disappointment, astonishment and amusement as the ascent of the 65 peaks became a story in itself.

"I climbed the huge Yawning Stone, with the aid of a ladder, only to find that when I got to the top it wasn't the summit of Gradbach Hill.

"I encountered a herd of llamas just below Ramshaw Rocks.

"On a walk to Ossoms Hill, I nonchalantly made notes standing right in front of a bull, without realising it.

"I and my walking partner, Sue Bell, struggled to stand up in a gale near the summit of Bunster Hill and stood petrified while being photographed, unnecessarily as it turned out, on the top of Mow Cop Folly Rocks, with a forty-foot drop below."

Mr Kent, who is best known for his insight and annual tours of Leek's famous Double Sunset, outlines how the 65 1,000-foot peaks were identified; lists them in descending order with their heights in feet and metres; gives grid references of their summits, and puts forward names for the 27 of them which are unnamed on Ordnance Survey maps.

All the peaks are described in detail, with comments on their main features, geology, origins of their names, vegetation, status of the land that they are on, nearest parking places, the simplest routes to climb them, conditions under foot and views from their summits. The book outlines 27 circular walks through, which all of the peaks can be climbed to from low ground.

For each walk, the total distance and height of ascent are given, along with the most interesting things to be experienced along the way, as well as likely hazards to be faced, such as wet or muddy ground and difficult field boundaries needing negotiation.

The book contains 80 colour photographs of the peaks and their surrounding features, as well as 28 colour maps showing their location and recommended routes of access.

It is in Leek bookshops and is generally available priced £14.75, but Post & Times readers can get signed copies directly from Jeff on 01782 791673 or at witan@mail.com See www.leek-news.co.uk for more on this story and the full list of the 1,000-foot peaks, with their Ordnance Survey map grid references and their heights in feet and metres, and a list of the proposed names and grid references of the unnamed peaks, which are also listed beneath the relevant photos on www.flickr.com

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