Trowell - Spring Boards
w/e 01 April 2012
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Ilkeston Road

With the fine dry weather of the last week it felt almost like summer but when I took these photos even though the temperatures were in the seventies Fahrenheit (over 20C) it was still only March. I was out walking around the town most days and for this particular set of images walked from near the Festival Inn at Trowell back into Ilkeston via the Erewash Canal. This first shot from my starting point opposite the Festival is back along Ilkeston Road towards Ilkeston.
The Boards

It was here though that I left Ilkeston Road to walk along "The Boards" to the Erewash Canal. This footpath has been called "The Boards" for as long as I can remember and I can only guess at the origin of its name but as it crosses the River Erewash and the low lying land around it I imagine that wooden boards were possibly used as stepping aids to enable passage through marshy areas in wet weather.
Magnolia Tree

I titled this page "Spring Boards" as a play on words for it could be assumed that the fine weather is a springboard into summer as well as the name of the footpath but the budding leaves and blossom most definitely say it's still the spring of the year and this magnolia picked out against the clear blue sky confirms the fact.
Railway Bridge

Just beyond the magnolia tree pretty yellow flowers (weeds?) were scattered at the side of the path near the railway bridge that carries the line from the east and Nottingham into the Erewash Valley. The line joins the main line through the valley and continues northwards to Sheffield.

Following the path round leads to another bridge in a very short distance but this one is over the River Erewash. When I was here in January 2007 (link) the water was almost up to the same level as the bridge and all the surroundings were flooded.
Leaf Buds

Although I took this image of the leaf buds as further evidence of the season it also shows the low level of the river that has been caused by the relatively dry winter which in turn has led to drought conditions and even hosepipe bans in other parts of the country. Current thinking suggests that this part of the East Midlands will escape such bans as there will be sufficient supply to meet demand despite the low levels in some reservoirs..

A third and final bridge along The Broads is the footbridge over the main north/south railway line and once over this it is only a few more steps to the Erewash Canal.
Nutbrook Junction

The narrow strip of land southwards between the railway line and the canal is called Nutbrook Junction after the culverted brook under the Erewash Canal. Stretching some 600 plus yards the area has a varied landscape and a leaflet published in 1996 indicates a path through the area also detailing some of the flora and fauna that can be seen there. Today however the northern access takes a little bit of finding and the path is partially blocked by a fallen tree and brambles.
Hallam Fields Lock

I had intended to walk through Nutbrook Junction and return via the canal towpath but finding the route blocked I made my way back to where The Broads footpath joins the canal near the Hallam Fields Lock.
Trowell Marsh

The same leaflet I referred to earlier also contains information about the area to the north of the railway footbridge that extends for about a quarter of a mile. This area is called the Trowell Marsh Nature Reserve and according to the leaflet there is "limited access" but unlike Nutbrook Junction, it appears that the access is now much easier. This area is noted for its scrub, grassland, swamp and species-rich marshy meadow but once again the dry conditions meant that at the end of March the conditions underfoot were quite firm.

From here I continued along the canal towpath back into Ilkeston following the same route as walked in 2009 for the first part of the Lock to Lock series which can be seen by clicking here.

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