Potter's LockStation Road Access
"Lock to Lock"
Ilkeston - Potter's to Station Road
w/e 12 July 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

As we follow the route between the "Locks on the Erewash Canal" we found that the previous section from Green's Lock to Potter's Lock was one of the shortest as the canal passes to the east of Ilkeston. This next section between Potter's Lock and Barker's Lock on the other hand is the longest so I have decided to split this section into two with Station Road acting as the natural break at about the midway point.

North From Potter's Lock

We also found in the previous section that it is possible, albeit with some difficulty, to walk the whole of that section on either side of the canal. The footpath to the west of the canal now continues and it is possible to reach Station Road so just for a change of perspective, as we make our way towards Barker's Lock we will follow that path rather than the original towpath to the east.The residential area of the Park Farm Estate can be seen in the distance and there are several access ways to the footpath from the estate.

WaterliliesLeaf HoppersFor much of the length of the canal to Station Road, there were copious amounts of waterlilies (left) and this moorhen (above) made sure we knew of its presence by calling out loudly as it forged a way through the plants. Further along another of the same species had a brood of young chicks and they were hopping from leaf to leaf as they progressed along the canal (right).

Unlike the towpath on the opposite side, this path does not run along the very edge of the canal and is separated from the water by areas of wildflowers and grasses. There are also brambles and given a few days of sunshine there should soon be a bumper crop of blackberries. Where the canal can be seen, the waterlilies are showing a lot of yellow flowers and an occasional white one too.
A Bend In The Canal

Although the canal is heading in a generally northern direction it does turn towards the west for a short period during this section but a break in the lush vegetation allowed not only a view of the canal but also the bend where the canal turns back to the north and the houses that creep ever closer to its bank.
Straightening Out

This side of the canal also has a number of trees and at times it might even be described as "semi-wooded". A few like this one stand majestically with branches stretching over the water but several more points are worth noting here. The first is the proximity of the housing and the second is the straightening of the canal from this point as it heads directly towards Station Road. For a brief period the outlook from the canal to the east has been over open countryside but from this point on industrial premises, this time at Ilkeston Junction, come into play.
Man's Influence

It is also worth noting at this point man's influence on nature with the hollowing out of the path, the discarded supermarket trolley in the canal and the mound of woodchips left after the felling of a tree that is being colonised by fungi.
The Ashes

The AshesWith the canal still running in a straight line the path peters out on meeting the Gordon Street Playing Fields or to give it its name that it is more popularly known by, The Ashes. I cannot fail to walk across The Ashes without remembering a soccer game played here when I but a young schoolboy. In those days the green sward of today was a muddy quagmire in the depths of winter and it fell to me to take a corner kick up the gentle slope. It took all my strength to get the sodden leather ball into the goal mouth but it squirmed through all the players and found its way directly between the goal posts. Happy memories indeed!
Looking Back

Rupert StreetComing back to the present our route now is to leave The Ashes and proceed along Rupert Street (left) to Station Road. The canal now runs behind the new houses on the right in the small image that have been built in recent years on the site of a former builders' merchant. Turning right at Station Road we can regain the original canal towpath by a flight of steps and it is from there that we will resume our walk to continue to Barker's Lock in the next part. As we cross the bridge though to reach the steps (see small image at the top of this page) there is an opportunity to look back along the canal towards Potter's Lock.

 Lock to Lock Index
Part 5 to Barker's Lock

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