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
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.
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.
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.
(You can find out more about the Mead project on the Woodland Trust website).
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.
Our objective after The Spinney was to reach the edge of Kirk
Hallam where we accessed the Nutbrook Trail at the Beauty Spot.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.