Autumn Footprints 2022 - The Festival Starts Here
w/e 18 September 2022
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300

Autumn Footprints

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, this year's Festival started without the usual fanfare, presentations and displays in the Green Room at the Shipley Country Park Visitor Centre in the presence of the respective Mayors of Amber Valley and Erewash Councils. The opening walk however, still went ahead around the park. After a brief welcome from Marion Farrell, Healthy Lifestyles Co-ordinator at Groundwork Greater Nottingham, walk leader Ben Wain introduced the route saying that the theme for the walk would be "Water".

At Osborne's Pond

The first stop on this water themed walk was at Osborne's Pond where Ben described how several ponds and reservoirs had been constructed in the 1790s to feed the Nutbrook Canal.
From The Bridge

We moved on from the dam wall at Osborne's Pond and climbed up the embankment to the former railway line that is now the Nutbrook Trail crossing over the bridge that spans the road into the Marlpool housing estate.
On The Nutbrook Trail

An overflow channel from Osborne's Pond allows water to run into Coppice Lake, which lies to the right of the Nutbrook Trail and on the other side of the road that runs from Marlpool to The Field at Shipley.
Water Channel

It was at The Field that we turned right, keeping to the Nutbrook Trail, and descended Dog Kennel Lane to a small bridge that crosses another channel from Coppice Lake guiding the water to Shipley Lake at the former site of the Britannia Park and American Adventure Theme Park. Ben here recalled the chequered history of the said Parks which are now being developed as Shipley Lakeside housing.
Shipley Hall Site

From Dog Kennel Lane we passed the entrance to Shipley Cricket Club, turned off the Nutbrook Trail and ascended the grassy hillside up to Nottingham Lodge. From there we made our way through the wood to the site of Shipley Hall, the former home of the Miller Mundy family who had been instrumental in coal mining in the area that had necessitated transport improvements, ultimately leading to the construction of the Nutbrook Canal.
Water Tower

The water theme continued as we looked across to the Water Tower, now converted into a private residence, that once supplied water to the Hall. Gravity fed, the tower served all the needs of the house and also powered fountains in the gardens.
Mapperley Reservoir

We descended the other side of the hill along Shipley Lane towards Mapperley Village to our next stop at Mapperley Reservoir, another supplier of water for the canal's needs.


It was here that the walk took a slight detour from its water theme and became a nature walk instead. Ben pointed out the rare Mandarin Ducks that had taken up residence on the reservoir and was surprised to see them on this side of the water as they normally stay on the quieter side opposite. He also related the tale of the angler who was once the proud record holder of the biggest carp caught in the UK that had been pulled out of Mapperley Reservoir. As we walked alongside the reservoir we passed two more anglers who were trying to land another fish but it was unlikely to be a record weight. As we continued through John Wood there was a fine display of fungus on one of the trees near the end of the reservoir.
Flatmeadow Farm

We proceeded through John Wood spying many willow and alder trees, made a short detour along Bell Lane for a distant view of another pond, so far unnamed, and then returned along Bell Lane for the path past Flatmeadow Farm. Just below the tree line on the horizon the "dots" that can be seen in the field are a section of the thousands of new trees that have been planted.
Young People's Forest

Those trees are in the Woodland Trust's Young People's Forest at Mead and after passing the entrance to the site we were only a few more steps away from the Visitor Centre and the end of the walk. So with our thanks to Ben, we knew the 2022 Festival of walking with over 30 guided walked during the next 16 days had well and truly been launched.
Route Map

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