Newdigate To Hassock Lane - Part 01
w/e 29 January 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

With other commitments lined up for later in the week we took advantage of a fine but misty afternoon on Tuesday to go for a spur of the moment walk from West Hallam to Shipley.


We hopped on the Derby bound bus in Ilkeston, alighted at the Newdigate Arms on High Lane East at West Hallam and headed off along the lane at the side of the pub.
Downhill Start

Although not a strenuous walk and only two and a half miles long it is an undulating route with several ups and downs. The lane at the start of the walk descends gently to the hamlet known as Mapperley Brook.
Mapperley Brook

There are only a few cottages at Mapperley Brook and the brook itself passes under the lane just beyond "The Nook", the property seen here on the right. After that the lane begins to gently rise again towards the bridge in the distance.

In a former life the bridge carried trains to Mapperley Colliery on the Mapperley Branch of the Midland Railway but is now used by farm vehicles and walkers. The lane (which we followed) dips down and under the bridge but the alternative is up and over the embankment.
Head House Farm

The different ways come together again at the entrance to Head House Farm and the lane continues to gently rise to one of the higher points on the route.
Shipley Hill

From that high point the tree covered hilltop in Shipley Country Park comes into view although it was not as clear as it might have been due to the misty conditions. The lane drops down to a T-junction where a left turn would have taken us along Slack Road into Mapperley Village. We turned right. I believe the name Slack Road comes from when it was used by lorries carrying coal slack from the collieries in the area.
Great Tit

At the junction there was a lot of activity in the hedgerows as a number of small birds flitted from branch to branch. Most of them were too quick for me to catch on camera despite several attempts. This is about the best shot I could get of what I think is a Great Tit.
Woodside Farm

The lane continues to drop down to reach the low point of the route at the metalwork seen on the right of this image where another water course crosses. It then rises again to pass Woodside Farm.

Woodside Farm is run by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and occupies an area of land on the site of the former Woodside Colliery. A sentence on the Trust's website states "We are managing the extensive areas of grassland through a farming enterprise, which involves the sale of beef and lamb reared on the farm." As we approached the farm buildings some of those animals were grazing in the fields. There are several native breeds including Jacob sheep on the farm.

Derbyshire Wildlife TrustHighland cattle were also grazing in the same field but the intervening hedgerow meant this was about the best shot I could get from the lane. The farm extends over a 74-hectare site purchased in 2011 and is the largest in Derbyshire outside the Peak District National Park. A brief introduction to Woodside Farm can be downloaded as a PDF (click here).
The Trust is funded by a combination of grants, donations, membership subscriptions and other fundraising activities and more information can be found at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust website.

Forward to Part 02

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