Autumn Footprints 2022 - The Festival Starts Here
w/e 18 September 2022
All of this week's
pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300
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".
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Forward to Autumn Footprints
2022 - Erewash Meadows Living Landscapes