Wilderness on our Doorstep - Between West Hallam and Ilkeston
w/e 16 June 2002

A few weeks ago I walked across the fields through a rural landscape to West Hallam but if you go the opposite way from High Lane East via Lewcote Lane towards Ilkeston you enter an entirely different scenic world - a world that is fast becoming a wilderness on our doorstep.

The lane leads to this little used footpath surrounded at this time of year with burgeoning growth.

The path soon opens out into an area criss-crossed by many more paths and tracks. I was following a guide produced by Erewash Borough Council for this walk and it would be quite easy to take the wrong route here. My advice would be to follow your nose in the same direction as the original overgrown path without deviating and ignore all the others.

Eventually as the guide says, a disused road is reached. In fact the "road" at this point is a wide expanse of tarmac. Ilkeston and much of this part of the East Midlands is situated on the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire coalfield. There were many mines in the area until fairly recently and this area above, less than half a century ago, was the site of a coal mine. Evidence of this can still be seen - I believe there are still some open shafts nearby - but nature is doing its best to reclaim the land.

The guide becomes easier to follow from here on and points you in the direction of a small coal tip.

And beyond the tip the walk takes on a much more pleasant aspect as the path leads through the trees alongside a water course that is called Nutbrook. From here the route heads by the Nutbrook towards Pewit Carr.

Continued in Part 02 - "By Nutbrook"

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