The Dragonfly Trail - Part 01
w/e 07 March 2010
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The Dragonfly Trail is the seventeenth in a series of leaflets of Country Walks in and around Erewash. It is approximately four and a half miles in length and is described as "a gentle stroll along the canals around Ilkeston" that takes two and a half to three hours to complete. It is a circular route that starts and ends at Gallows Inn Playing Fields and can be split into three distinct sections. The outward leg is along the Erewash Canal with the middle third through Cossall Village before returning along the Nottingham Canal. As I covered the Erewash Canal in some detail last year in the "Lock to Lock" series and the return along the Nottingham Canal in a 2008 "Sentimental Journey" I do not intend to repeat those parts of the route but will include links to those pages so that the complete route of the Dragonfly Trail can be followed. The images on this page and in Part 02 will concentrate on the middle section of the walk.

Leaving the Gallows Inn Playing Field the route follows Nottingham Road to join the Erewash Canal at Gallows Inn Lock where it heads north along the towpath as far as Station Road. That part of the route can be seen on these pages each of which will open in a new window or tab:
Gallows Inn to Green's Lock
Green's Lock to Potter's Lock
Potter's Lock to Station Road

Station Road

So on a bright and frosty morning we pick up the Trail on Station Road at the top of the steps from the canal and turn right to head towards Ilkeston Junction, Awsworth and Cossall.
Ilkeston Junction

 After passing over the River Erewash the road rises up and over the railway lines at Ilkeston Junction. This is where one of Ilkeston's former railway stations was situated and although the town has not had one since 1967 there is currently a campaign to to bring a train station back to Ilkeston
Landscaped Area

When the Dragonfly Trail leaflet was first published the map showing the route indicated that it continued in a straight line from the railway bridge along Coronation Road but since that initial publication the Awsworth Bypass and Millership Way, the new link road into Ilkeston, have been constructed and Coronation Road has been diverted to a new traffic island seen here on the extreme left. This area has now been landscaped but the line of the old road is still visible.
Coronation Road

The safest way to access Coronation Road is via the pedestrian refuges at the island but from a similar position to the previous image, this zoomed shot foreshortens the whole length of the road and also shows the double bridge where the Nottingham Canal crosses at the far end. The right hand side of the road is now an industrial estate but was formerly the site of Cossall Colliery.

At the end of Coronation Road our route is to turn right to follow Church Lane up the hill towards Cossall Village. This area is known as Cossall Marsh.
Into The Field

About two hundred yards up Church Lane and just before the houses in the village start, there is a signpost indicating a footpath and a stile in the hedgerow leads into the fields behind the houses.
Head For The Spire

The footpath across the fields is not very well defined so it is a case of heading diagonally across three fields and looking for the next stile, taking care not to disturb the horses on the way. Another aid to navigation is the church spire in the centre of the village.
Invisible Footpath

As I reached the village I paused to look back across the fields. The line of the path is directly across this field to the electricity pole in the corner but heeding my own advice about the horses, I actually walked around the edge of the field but they showed little interest in me anyway.
Forward to Part 02

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