Autumn Footprints 2019 - Week Two
w/e 29 September 2019
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

What a difference a week makes! After the glorious weather of the first week of the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival under clear blue skies, the second week was just the opposite and the sun hardly put in an appearance at all. We start this review of the week though on the second Saturday before the weather turned..

Whiteley's Plantation

This was the day I returned to Shipley Park to join a small group led by a representative of the Woodland Trust to explore the site of the proposed Young People's Forest. We headed off from the Visitor Centre towards Smalley along a path that was installed about a couple of years ago after the completion of opencast workings. This took us past Whiteley's Plantation seen here to the right of the path.
Twice Walked

We walked almost to the western edge of the site which has currently been named Mead but this may change in the fullness of time. We then returned part way along the same path before turning off towards Bell Lane. Whiteley's Plantation can now be seen on the left.
Hidden Pond

We reached Bell Lane near to where the Mead site butts up to Manchester Wood. A left turn at Bell Lane led us back towards Shipley Park but an opening in the hedgerow and a short walk off the lane revealed a hidden pond which is also part of the Mead site. It is thought that this area could be used for special events but as with the rest of the site the future development will be led by young people.
Route Map
(You can find out more about the Mead project on the Woodland Trust website).
Old Hall

Sunday was a day with the family but on Monday morning I joined the Monday Strollers at the Victoria Leisure Centre in Ilkeston for their "Old Hall Loop". The Old Hall in question is the timber framed building, believed to be Ilkeston's oldest building, glimpsed here in The Spinney. This was about halfway through the walk and we had reached here via the Manners Link footpath, the Rutland Sports Ground and then due to a footpath closure, some street walking followed to include Derby Road, Belper Street and Dale View.

Beauty Spot

Our objective after The Spinney was to reach the edge of Kirk Hallam where we accessed the Nutbrook Trail at the Beauty Spot.
Nutbrook Trail

The Nutbrook Trail led us to and beyond the Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve. Leaving the Trail we passed by Pewit Golf Course and back to civilisation to walk through Victoria Park back to the Leisure Centre. This is a walk that I have done many times previously in one form or another but was made more enjoyable this time by walking with an out-of-town visitor to whom I was able to pass on some local information and which apparently was well received and appreciated.
Route Map
Tuesday was a washout! I have already said that the weather changed for the second week of the festival and after getting drenched walking the dog in the morning I decided against joining the Heanor Walking For Health (WFH) group for a planned Circular Theme Park walk at Shipley. One soaking a day is more than enough.


On Wednesday however, despite the early morning drizzle I set off once more for Crich for another WFH walk following the Mineral Railway from the old quarries in Crich down the hill to Bull Bridge.

The route took us through Fritchley where we could read information about the "Fritchley tunnel and embankment on the Butterley Gangroad". Notice the old wagon and rail on the left.
Amber Wharf

The mineral railway line continued from Fritchley to the lime kiln at the Cromford Canal at Bull Bridge where another board had lots of information and maps about the Amber Wharf. A leaflet detailing the first half of this walk can be downloaded from here but the return uphill was through the fields and woods to the west of the road from Bull Bridge to Crich.
Route Map
On Thursday there were only two options in the festival walks - 1) over the Bennerley Viaduct for which booking was essential and I hadn't booked or 2) Homage to the Canary Girls which was an eight mile walk from Trent Lock to Attenborough Nature Reserve and back. This is a repeat of the walk I did four years ago in somewhat wet conditions and the prospect of another drenching in the low lying area by the River Trent didn't appeal.

Looking Forward

As the weekend approached a number of other commitments, especially on the mornings of Friday and Saturday coupled with the "iffy weather" forecast brought my participation in this year's Autumn Footprints to a premature conclusion. I would have liked to have done the Ecclesbourne walk on Friday if I hadn't been otherwise engaged and likewise the Holloway Countryside walk on Saturday but I have actually walked around the Holloway/Crich area quite a lot this year anyway. The above picture comes from a Week One walk and was taken in the churchyard at Dethick. Sunday was Harvest Festival at church so that ruled out any more walking on the final day of Autumn Footprints. Still there's always next year's walks to look forward to.
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