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IN THIS EYEWITNESS UPDATE I present a selection of pictures taken while out and about in Manchester and beyond. If there's a theme, then maybe it's the play of light and shade, the effects of nature and the transition from winter into spring. I've included some Peak District views, following reader requests.

ROCK LIGHTHOUSE, New Brighton marks the most north westerly point in the ancient county of Cheshire. New Brighton is on the Wirral peninsula, part of the Merseyside metropolitan region.

It's late afternoon on a cold wintry Sunday in February 2001. In the distance are the lights of Liverpool Docks.

Eyewitness says: Actually, Merseyside is not really the right name for the Liverpool area, as the River Mersey begins 35 miles east of Liverpool in Stockport town centre, at the confluence of the Tame and the Goyt. I have a 1950's map entitled 'Merseyside' which covers the area from Liverpool to Manchester.

THIS IS BEECH ROAD CHORLTON, pictured at dusk during February 2001. On either side of the street, there are cafes, pubs, a Chinese takeaway, newsagents other shops.

Beech Road is one of the most popular streets in Chorlton and even after dark there's plenty of life here.

THE FOOTPATH TO CASTLE ROCK, on Alderley Edge is closed due to foot and mouth disease. In February 2001, foot and mouth disease returned to the UK in the first major epidemic since 1967.

By March the epidemic was affecting many areas of life. Access to country footpaths, National Trust properties and anywhere close to farm animals was closed in order to try and prevent the spread of the disease.

How much longer will it be until I can walk on Alderley Edge again?

ECCLES PIKE is a hilltop situated in Derbyshire about a mile and a half (2.5km) west of the town of Chapel-en-le-Frith. It's 1213 feet (370m) above sea level, and there are panoramic views over the Peak District and even as far as Manchester which is about 20 miles north west of here.

Unfortunately Eccles Pike was closed in March 2001 due to the foot and mouth epidemic.

The word 'pike' means a pointed hill, but how did it come to have the same name as the town close to Manchester which gave its name to a currant cake?

THIS IS THE 'CHAPEL' in Chapel-en-le-Frith. It dates from the 13th century and was built when the area round here was a forest, or 'frith'. The forest was used by noblemen for hunting.

The church has a beautiful sundial above the entrance, and from the churchyard there are views of the surrounding peaks.

THE ROAD UP TO ECCLES PIKE from Chapel-en-le-Frith has stunning views of the surrounding valleys and hills.

Here we can see Chinley Churn and Cracken Edge.

The landscape is a geologist's dream, displaying the effects of millions of years of change.

FROM ECCLES PIKE, west of Chapel-en-le-Frith, we are looking south towards Combs reservoir. Hob Tor is visible centre right and on the other side of this hill is the town of Buxton

This is the Peak District, in the county of Derbyshire, with a landscape that's picturesque but often barren and windswept.

From the centre of Manchester it takes just half an hour by train to reach this area which is especially popular with walkers. Sadly, at the time of this photo was taken, March 2001, the country paths are closed due to the foot and mouth epidemic.

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