Little Eaton Walk No. 2
w/e 08 September 2013
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
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St Peter's ParkAll three Family Walks from Little Eaton begin in the car park by St Peter's Park (left) and this, the second that is described in the leaflet, is the shortest at between a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half. The leaflet also says that the park which has a large playing field and plenty of open space is the ideal place to begin and end the walks. This walk climbs up to a high point above the village before descending again and although short, younger family members may prefer to stop and enjoy the amenities at the park. For those intrepid youngsters (and their elders) following the route though, an aerial view is available by clicking here.

Vicarage Lane

Turning left out of the car park, the route begins with a gentle climb up the hill of Vicarage Lane.
Signs of Autumn
Where the lane bends to the right a footpath continues straight ahead to Hatherings Wood. It was a really warm late summer afternoon in early September when we followed the route but with branches of a Rowan tree hanging low over the path laden with red berries and brambles in the hedgerow ready for picking, there were sure signs of the changing seasons.
In Hatherings Wood

The path leaves Hatherings Wood via a squeeze stile and yes it was a squeeze to continue with the grassy hillside rising up on the right and trees falling down the slope to the left.
Narrow Bridge

Rigga QuarryAnother squeeze stile leads into Herons Wood and what can also be described as a "squeeze" bridge. The footbridge spans the remains of the old Rigga Quarry and a question in the leaflet asks what stone was worked in the quarry (answer given below). Having walked this path previously in both directions in the annual Autumn Footprints programmes, this is a favourite place to pause and peer down (right) into the quarry but it has not been worked for many years and the views of the workings on this occasion were obscured by foliage. Evidence of quarrying in the area dates from before the fourteenth century.
Rigga Lane Hill

After crossing the footbridge, the fenced path drops by some uneven steps to Rigga Lane and then the route continues to the right up the well rutted slope of Rigga Lane. A word of warning is in order here especially if there are any youngsters walking the route as the surface in this part of the walk can be quite challenging.
Rigga Lane Level

Rigga Lane soon levels out and the surface is much better with a tarmac road. The leaflet description of the route reads "Bear right after the cottages up Quarry Edge Road" but the "cottages" on the right appear to be quite substantial and desirable residences standing in extensive grounds with long well maintained gardens. The vehicle in the shadows in this image is approximately at the point where Quarry Edge Road joins Rigga Lane. In fact Quarry Edge Road looks just like the drive to another property but a footpath sign points the way.
To The High Point

At the top of the drive some substantial gates indicate the entrance to another property but a path on the right leads through a gate and up to the high point of the walk. An interesting sign at the field gate advises that this is a newly seeded/planted area and requests that walkers keep to the official path and not to feed the goats that are on a restricted diet. We kept to the path but saw nothing of the goats.

Distant DerbyHigh PointThe path crosses two fields and from the high point there is a distant view (left) over Derby covered on this hot afternoon with a heat haze. Ahead though is a farm (right & above) and the second question posed in the leaflet is to find the name of the farm. It is shown on Ordnance Survey maps and also in the leaflet and can be found easily enough - but if you don't want to find it yourself, the answer is given below.
Grassy Hillside

As mentioned previously, we were familiar with the route from the start of this walk to Rigga Lane but we had never walked the path across the fields to the farm before. Once at the farm however we were once again in familiar territory have approached it in a different direction on Autumn Footprints walks. The lane from the farm to the end of the walk is the same Vicarage Lane that began our walk and here from part way down the hill is a view back to the farm.
Over Little Eaton

Vicarage LaneVillage Hall & St Peter's ParkThe lane continues and briefly passes through Hatherings Wood again to the point where we originally left Vicarage Lane to follow the footpath to the wood near the start of the walk. From there the route is the same as the outward journey in reverse order to follow the slope down (left) as far as the Village Hall (right) where we turned again into the car park at St Peter's Park but not before pausing near the wood for a view over the valley to some of the village situated on the hillside opposite.

The answers to the questions from the leaflet are: Q1 - Gritstone which can be seen in many of the surrounding buildings and walls and Q2 - Park Farm.

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