Autumn Footprints 2020 - The Virtual Festival
w/e 06 September 2020 All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
Usually at this time of year I'm looking forward
to the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival in Amber Valley and
Erewash but this year, quite understandably in the current pandemic,
the Festival in its usual format has been cancelled. That does
not mean to say that walking is being discouraged. Just the opposite
in fact but it is eminently sensible to do this keeping in mind
social distancing and taking all the necessary precautions to
prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Whilst it is not advised
to meet up with large numbers of people there are still plenty
of walks that can be enjoyed in the Amber Valley and Erewash
area. In the past I have summarised the Festivals with just a
few photos from each of the walks I have done so this year during
September I will be looking back in more detail at a few of those
walks from previous years. To start though this page shows photos
of a walk we have just completed in honour of the Opening Walk
in Shipley Country Park.
the Festival begins with an opening ceremony in the Visitor Centre
in Shipley Park followed by a photo call with the respective
Mayors of the two Councils. This year however, the area outside
(left) has been transformed with barriers, notices and a one-way
system but that is where we started our walk heading off along
the path (right) towards Flatmeadow Farm and the Young People's
It is traditional to begin the Festival with a walk in the park
of about three miles and we have previously followed various
routes through the park. This is one that combines elements of
some of those routes but it is not identical to any of those
previous walks. The first part of the walk took us towards Whiteley's
Plantation, seen here straight ahead, through the Young People's
Forest Site which is being created on the former Mead Opencast
Site. As we dropped down the slope to cross a small brook we
turned left to follow another path through the site.
This took us through some open countryside and behind Flatmeadow
Farm, still within the Forest site however to Bell Lane. On the
left on the horizon we could see Home Farm on Shipley Hill. Our
walk would eventually take us to the far side of the hill.
On reaching Bell Lane we turned left but soon turned off to the
right again. We could have turned into John Wood and followed
any of a number of woodland paths but chose instead to turn just
beyond the couple in the road to follow a wider and more substantive
The track runs parallel for much of the way with one of those
footpaths through the wood but then veers away and rises slightly.
When the paths come closer together again the views open up across
The track continues to the Mapperley Reservoir car park and picnic
area where several family groups were enjoying the sunshine and
then joins Shipley Lane. A left turn here took us up the hill.
We turned off Shipley Lane into the wood and climbed to the top
of the hill where several previous walks have taken us through
the Hall site but on this occasion we followed the path the passes
the folly and circles the top of the hill passing some wonderful
old trees on the way.
Eventually we descended the hill again by Derby Lodge to rejoin
Shipley Lane at its junction with Bell Lane before leaving the
lane again at a gap in the fence right in the middle of this
Several paths have been mowed into the grass but we continued
straight ahead climbing uphill again to Cinderhill Coppice.
We had seen only perhaps half a dozen other people on the walk
so far so social distancing was not a problem, but as we left
the Coppice there were quite a few more people around. From here
though it is but a short walk back to the Visitor Centre to complete
the three mile circuit. You can follow the route by clicking
on this link to the Route
All the above images and more appear in this slideshow.