Ilkeston & West Hallam - Three Nature Reserves
w/e 27 February 2022

All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

There are three Nature Reserves in close proximity on the boundary of Ilkeston and West Hallam. Following the recent storms we knew that access to one of them would not be possible but we went for a look anyway.

Swan Lake

We started on the West Hallam side of the boundary at Straw's Bridge or Swan Lake as it is more commonly known where the birds appeared to be especially hungry and were swarming around anyone nearby who looked as though they had food.
Canal & Trail

Leaving Swan Lake we picked up the Nutbrook Trail which at this point runs alongside the disused Nutbrook Canal. The canal and the Nut Brook follow adjacent and similar routes and are interchangeable at many places but here the brook is to the left of the canal and closer to Swan Lake.

By the time we had crossed the embankment on the Nutbrook Trail, the waters of the canal and the brook had merged and were also swelled by the overflow from the pond in Pewit Carr, the second of the three Nature Reserves. The water is carried under the embankment in a culvert.
Manor Floods

We continued along the Nutbrook Trail to the aptly name Manor Floods, the third Nature Reserve which is actually on the Ilkeston side of the boundary.

Access to Pewit Carr from the Trail is via a footbridge and here it was easy to see the effect of the recent storms on the water level.

Debris in the disused canal was holding back some of the water but it was still flowing quite swiftly under the footbridge.
Pewit Carr

This was as far as we walked along the Nutbrook Trail as we knew before starting out that the path through Pewit Carr would be impassable. Pewit Carr was created as a result of mining subsidence and is now said to contain "a mosaic of wetland habitats" which are only too evident especially after heavy rainfall.

We retraced our steps back to Swan Lake along the Nutbrook Trail. The Trail zig-zags up a former railway embankment and access to Swan Lake is down the other side. The trail however continues southwards over this bridge with the path under it continuing straight on to Derby Road.

Back at Swan Lake a stiff breeze was still blowing and creating multiple ripples on the water.
Wet Grassland

We completed the circuit around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction passing the bridge under the embankment that leads to two smaller ponds. We were surprised to find the path under the bridge dry as it has been known in the past to often be under water. We also passed another area in the Reserve which is a designated wet grassland habitat but we managed to complete this short walk and return home with dry feet.

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