Trowell - A Walk In The Country
w/e 04 January 2004

Nature Reserve

We last looked at the Nottingham Canal between Ilkeston and Eastwood on a glorious autumn day and we start this walk to the south of Ilkeston at Trowell by the same canal but on a much cooler and cloudier day. On this section of the disused canal as it clings to its contour through the undulating countryside, it is maintained as a nature reserve.
Canal Bed

Perhaps "maintained" is not quite the correct word as much of the canal seems unkempt and overgrown. "Retained" as a nature reserve would probably be the better word. Notice the trees that have taken root in the bed of the canal and grown to maturity since its abandonment in 1937. Nominal maintenance only took place but this ceased in 1971.
The remnants of some old lock gates can still be seen near this bridge over the canal, a testament to the craftsmen who manufactured them as they now stand in stagnant green water.
Garden Centre
The Nottingham Canal Society was formed in 1976 with the intention of making the canal between Trowell and Langley Mill navigable again but extensive opencast mining particularly in the Awsworth/Giltbrook area put paid to that. Here too at Trowell the route of the original canal (seen here from the bridge in the image above) has been swallowed up by a garden centre.
The Way Home

 We made a detour from here to enjoy a coffee at the garden centre but then returned almost to the bridge make our way home via a footpath at the side of a hedgerow across the fields. The road in the middle distance is the M1 and Ilkeston can just be seen on the horizon.
Muddy Track

All went well until we were almost at the M1 when we had to pick our way along a muddy track avoiding many deposits left by cattle. With the light fading fast - this image makes it seem much brighter than it actually was - the route back was difficult to determine once we had crossed under the motorway as any semblance of a footpath disappeared. We ended up scrambling through a hedge and under a barbed wire fence before reaching our starting point. The lengths we go to to bring you this web page!

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