The Dragonfly Trail - Part 02
w/e 14 March 2010
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Having crossed the fields behind some of the properties in Cossall Village we begin this second part of the Dragonfly Trail on the very edge of the built up area right in the centre of the village which, since 1975, has been designated a conservation area.

Lane Into Village

It is just a short walk up this lane to Church Lane, the main road through the village. The building on the left at the end of the lane is where Louie Burrows, one time betrothed of D. H. Lawrence lived and if time is not a priority, it is probably worth pausing in the village to explore more of its history, a little of which was mentioned in a supplementary page to the Monks Way series that can be seen on this page:- Cossall Village.
Willoughby Almshouses

 From time to time many of the residents in the village open up their gardens and collect money for various charitable organisations. One such event held in 2002 can be seen here and that page includes an image of the Willoughby Almshouses which are also in this view on the right.
Church Lane

But our objective on the Dragonfly Trail is to pass along the main road to the distant corner of Church Lane. Care has to be taken when crossing the twisting and winding road as there is only a footpath on one side and although it looks peaceful enough, it is a very busy route for traffic using it to bypass Ilkeston.
Between The Fences

From the corner our route heads off into the countryside again along a path bounded by fences on both sides but people of my generation who attended the same school may well remember this path from cross country runs (or walks in the case of my year) before the fences were erected.
Mill Lane

At the far end of the path, we cross Mill Lane seen here in the direction of Ilkeston which again is part of the route followed in the Monks Way series. This time though it's over the stile and into the field opposite.
Cross With Care

Although it was a frosty morning, by the time I had reached this point the sun had had an effect on this south facing slope and the path had a greasy, slippery surface. Coupled with the fact that the post and wire fence on the right had fallen over and strands of the wire were lying across the path this turned out to be probably the most dangerous portion of the whole route. My advice to anyone walking here is to cross this field with care.
Wooden Footbridge

The bottom end of the field is marked by the Nottingham Canal which is crossed by this wooden footbridge at the same position as a former swing bridge over the canal. The Nottingham Canal was abandoned in 1937 and any plans to reopen it have been thwarted by open cast mining operations so that much of it is now given over to a nature reserve. It is here along the remaining route of the canal that the dragonflies that give their name to the Trail are abundant during the summer months.
Nottingham Canal

To complete the route back to the Gallows Inn Playing Field there are two options from this point. One is a short cut across the fields to the right which previous experience tells me to avoid because of the cloying mud that is apt to stick to your boots even in relatively dry periods. The second alternative is to take the longer route along the towpath around the Robinetts loop and if time allows explore the Robinetts Arm. For those that decide to take the short cut, the route back to Ilkeston is the same as the Sentimental Journey a couple of years ago and can be followed via the following pages:
Cossall to Ilkeston - Part 04
Cossall to Ilkeston - Part 05

Back to The Dragonfly Trail Part 01

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