Autumn Footprints 2016 - Week One
w/e 18 September 2016
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Mayoral PartyWalk Leaders etc.This year's sixteen day Walking Festival was opened by the respective Mayors of Amber Valley and Erewash Councils at the Shipley Park Visitor Centre on Saturday morning September 10th. After the presentation of mementoes to the Walk Leaders who are all volunteers, and the customary posing for photos both inside and outside the Centre, there followed a walk around the park.

Locko Park

Having done the opening walk in Shipley Park in 2015 in the rain and as it was raining again this year, I decided against joining the group so my first walk in this year's Festival was on Monday when the conditions were much more amenable. And lovely it was too walking by the lake in Locko Park at Spondon.

Bluebell's, Locko to Dale Hills

The walk had actually started at Bluebell's Ice Cream Parlour, Brunswood Farm just a few minutes walk from the park and after passing through the Locko Estate continued along footpaths and farm tracks to Dale.
Dale Hills

At Dale Hills near Closes Farm, the Erewash Ramblers who were leading this walk, had previously installed steps to aid the climb up the hillside and as the walkers were strung out across the fields the front runners could be seen making their way up. The walk leader's decision to call a halt at the top for a lunch break was met with a degree of gratitude by the group.

To Ockbrook & Spondon

The walk resumed and crossed the fields into Ockbrook and then on to Spondon to return to the Ice Cream Parlour at Brunswood Farm to complete the seven mile circuit.
Route Map
Heanor Walking For Health group

On Tuesday I joined the Heanor Walking For Health group for the Victoria Park and Pewit walk.

Swan Lake

We met at Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve for a gentle stroll of a little under three miles into Ilkeston and back starting and finishing at Swan Lake.
Victoria Park

The walk passed through the award winning Victoria Park in Ilkeston where we paused to admired the colourful flower beds.

Bandstand restoration, Nutbrook Trail and Pewit Carr

We also noticed work on the construction of the Lottery Funded refurbishment of the bandstand and returned to Swan Lake via the Nutbrook Trail and Pewit Carr.
Route Map
Newdigate, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust & Nutbrook trail

Wednesday's walk also took in part of the Nutbrook Trail but started at the Newdigate Arms pub at West Hallam. About half an hour into the walk we reached the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Farm in the Woodside Nature Reserve where Jonathan, the Farm Manager, gave us an insight into the Trust's work before we continued along the Nutbrook Trail.

Farm Animals

Jonathan (on the right in this picture) during our brief stop, took the group into a field where he introduced us to a flock of sheep and a herd of Highland cattle. He assured us the cattle were quite gentle beasts but did qualify this by saying not to get between adult animals and their young. He also recalled how he had been accidentally trapped between the horns of one cow and a fence causing severe bruising to his midriff. Not a malicious attack, just an unfortunate accident but I'll still keep my distance.
Maggie's Coal

The walk led by the Memories of Stanley Village Trust was titled "A Nut Brook and Maggie's Coal Walk" and the second part took us to the part of the valley where coal destined for local Power Stations was stockpiled on the orders of the then Prime Minister during the government's dispute with the miners in the 1970s - hence the name Maggie's Coal. The coal was hidden under turf but erosion has now revealed huge areas of the coal.
Route Map
derby & Erewash Canals, Stoney Clouds

On Thursday I met up with the Long Eaton Rambling Club at Breaston Cemetery for a walk "By Stanton By Dale" and followed the route of the old Derby Canal to pick up the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre Lock, the headquarters of the Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association. From there we followed the Erewash Canal northwards which again is a section of the Nutbrook Trail, before crossing Bridge No. 12 to ascend the hill to Stoney Clouds.

Stoney Clouds Viewpoint

Stoney Clouds is an excellent viewpoint but the misty conditions on Thursday morning made it difficult to pick out many distant landmarks.
Erewash Valley GC, Horses, Maywood GC, Risley Lodge Farm

We continued across the Erewash Valley Golf Club, were followed by horses through another field and made our way into the village at Stanton By Dale for a lunch break. We then climbed up to No Man's Lane, crossed another golf course, Maywood, and then walked on footpaths and farm tracks back to Breaston.

Chequers Inn

There are several places in Stanton By Dale where lunch can be taken and as we walked back to Breaston in the hot sunshine that had burnt off most of the mist, I began to wish I had joined some of my fellow walkers in the Chequers Inn for a shandy! This, at eight miles, was one of the week's longer walks and on one of the hottest days too.
Route Map
I had pencilled in the "Belper to Blackbrook" walk for Friday but with the possibility of thunderstorms and/or heavy rain showers, I was pleased to receive a request for help nearer to home so abandoned my plans. Just as well as it did rain quite heavily during the morning. OK call me a fine weather walker, I don't mind.

Clifftop Path View

Cancelling the Friday walk meant my next outing was on Saturday morning to Lea for a walk along "A Clifftop Path & Woodland Stream" with the Amber Valley Walking For Health group and this is one of the views from the clifftop path.
Lea Gardens, Crich Stand, Sunken Path

The walk started at the entrance to Lea Rhododendron Gardens which are closed at this time of year but will reopen for the new season next March. After a walk along the appropriately named long Long Lane, we took the clifftop path and then walked across the fields towards the distant Crich Stand. Circling round we headed back towards Lea under cloudy but brightening skies before dropping down into a gully to follow the sunken path back to the village.

Woodland Stream

To complete the walk we dropped down again to cross the woodland stream before climbing up the other side of the valley from where we retuned to our starting point at Lea Gardens.
Route Map

That brought an end to the first week of the Festival which has 39 walks and events throughout the fortnight. I think I'll give the Nordic Walking Taster Sessions a miss but that still leaves plenty of choice for the second week of the Festival.
Forward to Autumn Footprints 2016 - Week Two

Autumn Footprints Index
Special Features Index

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.