Walks reports are generally sent by the Leader…. if you would like to add something, or indeed send me write-ups or photos, please do so.
Tuesday 12th February: a Joe Kelsall FLAT walk from Hollingwood Hub to Poolsbrook Country Park.
He writes: This morning 31 of us set off from Hollingwood Hub to walk alongside the Chesterfield Canal to Staveley Basin in chilly but ideal walking conditions. We saw the progress made from the basin and the direction the Canal will take to connect with the Renishaw section. From here we picked up the Pennine Trail branching off to Poolsbrook Park for a coffee break after which 29 went the extra mile to walk around the lake. We retraced our steps until branching off by Staveley Church to pick up the Canal crossing the last footbridge before the Basin, and returning to the Hub. A good seven mile or so walk with plenty of bird life to enjoy.
17 intrepid walkers set off this morning, 2nd Feb, for a beautiful snowy walk along the Unstone Line, through FIRTHWOOD, up the ‘sledging field’, through a very picturesque Summerley and down onto another section of the Unstone Line. Almost all returning to our cars. Someone found it too much of a strain to pass the Dronfield Brewery on the return as they are now open on a Saturday for drinkers as well as purchases.
First stop was Metapic Wood and all the interesting works of Art! Our next stop in FIRTHWOOD was the small pond believed to be formed by extraction of clay during the 19th Century for the local brick works.
A few paces from there is The Field, owned by the Guides but had been used during the First World War as a camp for prisoners of war. Having climbed to the top of the sledging field we stopped for drinks and to admire the view. Through Summerley and along the old Bridleway then down the fields for more history along the old branch line that served collieries in the area. Further along we could see the arch-topped brick remnants of the old mineral railway line and the stone which was engraved with Unstone Colliery 1912.
and Graham’s photos:
Frith or Firth? You decide, but I am webmaster!
The first Tuesday walk of 2019, led by David Blackburn
Just the photos at the mo….
5th JANUARY 2019
The midway point in our Winter Warmer Walks programme, and the first walk of the New Year saw Graham Gill lead a party of 34 walkers on a 5¼ mile circular walk to Barlow Fishing Ponds and back. Setting out at 10.00am from Pentland Road Shops it was a nice morning weather wise, with just a light overcast sky and no wind. On the outward route we crossed Sindelfingen Park and continued via Kitchen Wood and Cartledge. As there were some new faces on the walk (potential new members), our Chairman Richard handed out some membership forms at one of the regrouping stops near to Cartledge Hall, where Graham had given some snippets on it’s history. We crossed two tricky stone step stiles near here, but both were negotiated safely as the men gave the ladies a helping hand over. Onwards and downwards to Brindwoodgate where we turned left for the short but steep climb up to Dobbin Lane. From here we took the path through the wood near Lees Plantation to reach the ponds for our coffee stop. There are a few seats here overlooking the top pond, but with a party of 34 it was standing room only for some. Never mind, it is such a lovely spot and Eileen handed round some ‘Christmas’ chocolates for good measure! For the return leg we walked down past the other ponds and café to Lee Bridge and took the path left along Galloping Chase to Barlow Lees Lane which we followed for about 400 yards to a path on the left. Across the fields to Cowley Lane where we turned right and about 400yards again to Cherry Tree Farm where we took the path left. It was then right, over the footbridge and up to ‘Tellytubby Hill’ for a group photo. It was then back across Sindelfingen Park to the start point where 12 of the group went for lunch and a few others for drinks in the Jolly Farmer. Hardly any mud and a very pleasant day weather wise for early January – a perfect start to the New Year. Two pics from Graham, the rest from me (Richard S)
Last walk in 2018!
Walk from Holmesfield Village Hall Car Park.
Very mild weather brought the crowds out and we had 32 on the walk.
The walk was a bit of a work out with 12 stiles and very up and down, just what we needed after indulging over Christmas! It was muddy in places but pretty good underfoot. The views were exceptional.
15 of us then went for dinner to The Moorlands. We had no complaints and all sat together in the area near the bar. They even supply gluten free gravy!!
The day finished well with a great quiz thanks to John. Guess who one? Again!
Don’t forget another great walk coming up on Saturday 5th January. Ros & Steve.
and the photos, thanks to Graham G:
Tuesday 11th December: a David Blackburn walk,
from Coal Aston, Frith Wood, up a hill we didn’t know the name of, but in the winter, it is ‘Sledging Hill’, Summerley, Apperknowle International Airfield, muddy bridlepath to Apperknowle, along the old tramway track, across the Unstone Line, along the boardwalk that is going to be replaced by Derbyshire County Council over the next 4 years, (we are assured), Metapic Wood, FRITH Wood again, and back to Coal Aston. Lovely weather too.
Saturday 17th November: billed as ‘One of Richard’s now famous Jolly Jaunts’
And indeed it was. 19, could be 20 of us set off from the Big Lay By, and headed straight for Drone Valley Brewery. After an introduction by Bernard, who told us all about the Community Benefit Society of the brewery, Dave MacLaren took over and explained in superb detail the brewing process. Absolutely fascinating, we all learned so much. Membership is only £10.
Then, along the boardwalk, up and over the fields, along Apperknowle International Airport, over more fields, down Sicklebrook, to Troway where some of them went to Wards Cafe, and some of us went to the Gate Inn..Then, over more fields, navigating an electric fence which was nearly quite shocking! and along the bridleway to Apperknowle. Here, the ‘formal’ walk ended. with a group returning to the BLB, and others, myself included, went to the Travs. Following a tuck-in to a cheese platter and a pint, we wended our ways home, it was almost getting dusk, and for a well-earned sit down. Thanks to all who took part, the tailgaters for ensuring nobody got lost, and a welcome to some new to the group..
Tuesday 13th November, a Barry Jex walk, via Birchin Lea, Fanshaw Gate and Cartledge: report and pics Richard S
It was a lovely sunny day, the light was superb for photos, and we had some great views. 19 of us started out….and finished! Nice 5 mile walk, and on my way home, caught a bus to Coal Aston, and walked home via Frith Wood, Summerley and the Unstone Line.
Have a look also at our Facebook page, Sue Walker has loaded some lovely photos there.
Archie and I lead the walk on the 3rd November. (Angela Land)
We started from the long lay-by on Chesterfield road. We had the thrilling sight of a traction engine, in steam, being loaded onto the back of a lorry to be taken to its new home. It couldn’t get up the ramp under its own steam, it had to be pushed along by a big blue tractor.
Once that excitement was over, 20 people and one dog set off across the road, through Manor Farm and up the hill to Ouzle Bank. There we picked up one more walker and went across a couple of fields towards the corner of Hallowes Golf Course before turning towards Monk Wood. It was a clear day and we had good views over Chesterfield. We joined the bridle path which goes all the way to the new pointless roundabout at Sheepbridge, then used the new Peak Resort paths to walk back to Unstone. There we lost two walkers who needed to get on with other things in their lives, and the remaining 19 crossed the road and joined a footpath leading along the river Drone to Unstone Green play area. We scared three pheasants along the way. We crossed another road and continued along the river bank and scared two ducks. We passed under the railway viaduct and walked up to the old Unstone railway line and passed by Ramshaw Lodge and my house, then across the football playing field and more of the Unstone Line before joining Halfacre Lane near Summerley house. At this point we regrouped and found that we were down to 13 people and one dog. After a bit of a wait and some discussion we decided that the missing people were probably looking at fungi and we walked back to the lay-by. Two new people joined us on our walk, Pete and Jack, and I hope we haven’t frightened them off. We didn’t lose either of them.
Sorry about losing so many. I was told it was ok to lose 10% but I seem to have lost over 30% (I’m not counting those who let us know the were leaving). Will I be allowed to lead ever again?
I got two photos of the steam engine and one of some of the walkers going uphill from Manor Farm.
New member to the group Jack Lau, sent me these:
SATURDAY 20th OCTOBER 2018
Today’s walk saw a party of 24 walkers, including our Town Council leader Angelique Foster, complete a five and a half mile figure of eight walk around the Lower Moss Valley. Led by Graham Gill, the walk started at 10.00am from The Swan Inn at Ridgeway, the route headed towards Eckington via Kent Wood, Plumbley Lane, Never Fear Dam and Twelve Acre Wood. Graham provided some snippets of local history along the way, showing us an old wartime bunker after we crossed The Moss at Packhorse Bridge. This was used as a command and maintenance post for a system of decoy lights to confuse German bombers during WW11. We crossed Gas House Lane and came up past Eckington Church to our main stop of the walk at Church Farm Tea Garden.A leisurely stop of around 40 minutes was taken as everyone ordered tea, coffee, scones and cake. After a big thank you to Jenny, the proprieter, we were on our way again. The return leg took in Ince Piece Wood, a brief look at Seldom Seen Engine House, Cadman Wood and up to West Mosborough. From here we followed Bridle Stile, an old packhorse trail, and had a look at the Mosborough Through the Ages circle. Carrying on up to Highlane, the highest point on the walk, it was then a gentle downhill stroll back to The Swan, arriving right on time at 2.00pm. Fourteen of the party then took the opportunity for lunch at the pub, all washed down with a well earned drink. A lovely walk with many fine views along the way – and very pleasant weather for October.
Grahams photos :
The first walk of the 2018/9 Winter Warmers season, on 16th October, welcomed some new walkers to the group. It started from Coal Aston, where some had called in early to the Weslyan Reform Church for a second breakfast, prior to the almost 5 mile walk around the Moss Valley. There were 17 of us in the group, led by Peter Carr. Our halfway break was down Lightwood lane, where after the usual adverts for forthcoming events, we walked over a couple of fields to the Moss Valley Meadow…somewhere to make a point of visiting in the spring and summer… Lovely walk…great company, and not a drop of rain!
and a couple of photos from Graham Gill:
Tuesday 10th September, 6 intrepids set off from the big layby at 10am, via Half Acre Lane, Metapic Woods, Callywhite Lane, Frith, or Firth Wood, up to Summerley, along to Apperknowle, over to Unstone, and back along the boardwalk to the big layby.
Another group had set off half an hour earlier, a similar size, but had not looked at the programme before setting out to see they were ‘twerlies’. They thought it was a 09.30 start! Setting off on a similar route, from Unstone, followed the new path around the Peak Resort, up to Ouzle Bank, down past Unstone Hall, and back to the big layby. We all met up, had a chat and a laugh, and went on our separate ways!
The final evening walk of the season traditionally ends with a Pea and Pie supper. So, on Thursday 16th August, 34 walkers set off from Unstone’s Horse and Jockey, to amble around the bridle path/footpath around the Peak Resort. The weather held off, or rather the foul weather held off, and we got back to the Jockey after 3 miles, and an hour and a half to tuck into some rather nice pie and peas. The peas were well mushied! No Hendos though, but the offering from the bar; Bradfield Farmers Blonde, kept me quite happy. Thanks to Jane Smith for organising, and special thanks to John Ellis for the (also traditional) superb quiz afterwards.
and pics from Graham:
Thursday 19th July: a P and K Brightmore walk:
Great weather for our evening walk from Millthorpe through Unthank,past Moorhall, along Rumbling Street and back to Millthorpe. We crossed Pingle Dyke in Meekfield Wood, passed Crowhole Reservoir and then through Jonnygate and finally back over the Ford. All sounds like we went to Hobbit land but it is only a couple miles out of Dronfield!
Nine of us did the walk and were joined by two more as we returned to the cars! Unfortunately they had taken a wrong turn and got to the meeting point after 7! They had a nice walk but missed the company!
There was a nice mix of shelter in the woods and then open spaces where the views were great. The sun was just setting over the hills as we returned to the cars.
Thursday 12th July
A nice start to the Richard Armstrong walk from the Hyde Park: spotting…….
Onwards and downwards, warning us we would have to go upwards before the end of the walk…past Bull Close Farm, over the bypass, Monk Wood (lots of forestry work going on here), over to Cowley, ending up in the Hyde Park. Thanks to the pub for letting us park there while we walked. Pub quiz, half a dozen of the walkers stayed on. Richard is now off on holiday, so a fuller report when he gets back!
Tuesday 10th July: a Jeannie/Ade walk.
14 members enjoyed a lovely sunny morning walk about 5 miles through the Moss Valley via Povey Farm. The highlight was the sighting of a Barn Owl as we approached Jordanthorpe by-pass. * Graham reminded me that this was the second barn owl seen by us during daylight hours on our walks.
Thursday 28th June: the first evening walk led by Chris Turk
Starting from the Coal Aston village hall car park, down to the Moss Valley. A lovely walk, easy pace, with so much information given to us by Chris: meanings of some of the names, the work of the Woodland Trust, the difference between ‘wood’, ‘woods’ and ‘plantation’.
Here are Chris’s notes:
Win = broom or birch (Wineacre Wood)
Spring = Coppice – Cookspring Wood
Carr = wetland
Owler = Alder – Owler Carr
Furze = gorse
Hollin = holly – rich winter food for cattle, sheep and deer. Usually pollarded or coppiced
Hagg = enclosure
Wood – pre 1700
Plantation – post 1700
Multiple “Woods” together (eg Ecclesall Woods) suggests Enclosure Act 1200 giving parcels of land to Norman lords. Domesday book
Bell pits for coal
Q pits for “White coal” – dried wood cooler than charcoal, for lead and lime
Flat hearths for charcoal
Ironstone/ metal slag from smelting
Major earth-fast stones
Mine adits horizontal into hillside
Criss crossed with tracks and Victorian drainage channels
NB Tree age must be less than the earthworks underneath!
Big trees on boundary (inner ones used up!)
Ancient coppice stools/ groups of trees in a ring from one base
Bluebell (won’t cross gaps)
Creeping soft grass
Black Briony (in hedgerows)
Hazel and Blackthorn
Dogs mercury in acid soil (it is prolific in lime)
Charcoal making was a closed guild, same process till 1800s
Eg Ecclesall Woods used up, covered in charcoal hearth, now acid, species poor. Richer ring around the edge. Soil was all dug up to bank fires
Holly was fermented in pits to make bird lime to trap birds
Many coppices cleared in mid 1800s with winch, dynamite or fire. Replanted for timber or parks
Late 1800s intensive farming with a criss cross of old lanes and hedgerow
Alder for cheap and easy clogs, beech for quality
We ended the walk at the Cross Daggers, where one of the group even got roped in to joining in with the Harthill Morris Dancers! Jingle jingle, Yolande!
Saturday 23rd June: the ‘Not Really a Pub Crawl’ walk
A dozen keen walkers, including two visitors to the group, set out from the Big Layby, first port of call was to have a photo shoot at the eventually fixed and reboarded boardwalk.
Next, we called in at the nearby Drone Valley Brewery. Many thanks to Jez Horton for setting this up, and especial thanks to Dave MacLaren who guided us through the brewing process, showing samples of the various malts, hops, yeast etc. Culminating in a brief tasting, we saw we had spent almost an hour there! Much appreciated… hope the DVB signs up more new members from this trip.
From there, the walk along the upper board walk, Summerley, past the airfield, some of us went to The Gate at Troway, whilst others went to the nearby coffee shop. After a half an hour rest, we struggled onwards and upwards through nettles, sticky weeds (you know the sort!) more nettles, and some of the walkers looked like they were surrendering!
We eventually arrived at the Travellers, at Apperknowle, where we all went our separate ways…. after a drink of course! I hope our two visitors will join us on future walks, though we cannot promise as many nettles or brambles!
On the walk, we spotted various interesting things: a Common Spotted Orchid, a Bird’s Foot Trefoil, a partridge nest (recently vacated) a passion flower, and a new road warning sign. (great to have Graham with us, his knowledge is extensive!)
Thursday 14th June
Starting from the rear car park at Coal Aston Village Hall, tonight’s walk saw Graham Gill lead a party of 18 on a walk around the Upper Moss Valley. After the strong winds from hurricane “Hector” earlier in the day, there was just a slight breeze and some warm sunshine which made for a very pleasant walk. After leaving Coal Aston we crossed over the fields to Jordanthorpe via Cross Lane and past the now derelict Dormer Sports Ground. Crossing (carefully) back over the Jordanthorpe Greenway we entered Coal Pit Wood and followed the River Moss down the valley. In all we crossed the Moss six times with some lovely sunshine and birdsong along the way. A water stop was taken at Dowey Lumb, and we then followed the route of the Dronfield Round walk up to the Rotary bench where we paused to get our breath back and take in the views over this part of the valley. From here we returned via Owler Car Lane and Eckington Road. It was then into the Royal Oak for the Thursday evening “Big Music Quiz” and some “refreshments”
Tuesday 12th June:
Here is report of today’s walk: led by Barry Jex…..A group of 16 of us set off from Coal Aston in cool weather that gradually turned into a pleasant day for a hike. We covered nearly six miles in the Moss Valley along field paths, roads and woodland trails. We took a brief coffee stop on the hill by Povey Farm before tackling the infamous Eckington no. 10 footpath across the fields. The farmer had kindly cleared a path through the first two fields but than we had to rely on straight line walking to cover the next two fields of crops before we got onto familiar territory and strolled through Long Wood and Norwood back to the starting point. The highlight for us was when one of the group attempted to swim across the Moss Book – once again Eckington no.10 – and then bravely walked the rest of the way with soggy clothes and with waterproof boots that held the water in rather than keeping it out!
SATURDAY 26th MAY 2018
Starting at The Swan public house in Ridgeway today’s walk saw Graham Gill lead a party of 11 plus Archie the Labrador on a five and a half mile circular walk down to the Church Farm Tea Garden at Eckington and back. The outward route was via Haven Farms Nos.1 and 2, West Mosborough, Cadman Wood and Ladybank Wood. After tea, coffee and cake at Church Farm (and a big thank you to Jenny) our return journey to Ridgeway took us past the site of the old Eckington Mill and Seldom Seen Engine House then through Twelve Acre Wood. We then climbed steadily up to Plumbley Lane and then again up the fields to Kent Wood. It was just after here in the last three fields before Ridgeway that a Barn Owl was spotted hunting in broad daylight – a brilliant end to a very enjoyable walk. It was then boots off and into The Swan for lunch and a well earned drink.
the first Thursday evening walk of the season: May 24th, where 15 of us were led by David Blackburn around the fields and woods from Hundall, over to Marsh Lane and Eckington, with some wonderful views from Hardwick Hall, Bolsover Castle, even to Eggborough power station. some excellent across-field paths, some not so good. A very welcome pint in the Miners afterwards!
and to round the evening off: a Graham Gill sunset pic
Dawn Chorus Walk, Sunday May 5th.
14 of us, including members of the Dronfield Natural History Society, met just before the crack of dawn for this walk… At times, we were almost deafened by the cacophany….heard and recognised many birds, but saw very little, but as the walk went on, heard and saw lots! We were delighted to see a cuckoo…wheatear, grouse….and many others, listed later… A really nice walk over the Blackamoor Nature Reserve…
and thanks to Graham Gill for this……….click on the link below
First Walk of the Summer Season: Tuesday April 17th
14 of us set off from Dronfield Woodhouse on the first Tuesday walk of the summer season – we start half an hour earlier and walk a little further (up to 6 miles)
Our route took us over or beside several golf courses into Sheffield. Although we have had drier weather over recent days, a couple of fields were pretty squelchy and quite hard work to negotiate. Once over the boundary things improved underfoot and we descended down to Beauchief Hall , followed the path around the boundary of the deer park, through Ladies Spring Wood and on to Beauchief Abbey .
We had our coffee stop in this lovely peaceful oasis. Having got our breath back , we walked up the long hill & into Low Edges then back over the golf course. No sooner were we back on a Derbyshire path than we encountered more mud and as we approached Stubley Hollow, the path had been badly cut up by horses hooves and was so wet that we had to take avoiding action and finished our walk with some unplanned pavement walking . Weather was dull and breezy , with the occasional spell of light drizzle
Tuesday 13th March...Nine members enjoyed toasted tea-cake and a hot cuppa at Wesleyan Church, Coal Aston, before setting off with walk leaders
Jean Thorpe & Adrian Slome on a pleasant 5.5 mile walk in the Moss Valley.
At the Rotary bench, which has been beautifully repaired, Jeannie and Jane
decided to make a steady return. The other seven continued along Owler Carr
Lane to Povey Farm, then via Hazlehurst Lane to Hazelbarrow Farm and through
Long Wood and Norwood and back to Coal Aston. Luckily, the thick mud that was
experienced on the ‘reki’ wasn’t as bad as was expected. Pics by Graham Gill.
Saturday 3rd February 2018, a Brightmore Walk
TUESDAY 16th JANUARY 2018
report and pics thanks to Graham Gill
After an early morning of quite heavy snow, and a gloomy weather forecast, eleven brave souls still turned up at Coal Aston Wesleyan Reform Church for today’s walk. After hot drinks and toast kindly provided at the church, at 10.00am Graham Gill led the party on a four and a half mile circular walk into the Moss Valley. The outward route took in Nor Wood, Hazlebarrow Farm, Newfield Spring Wood and Bridle Road Wood before the coffee stop at Dowey Lumb. The going underfoot was quite boggy in places and the weather was a mixture of snow showers and hazy sunshine. After the coffee stop we descended Dowey Lumb and followed the route of the Dronfield Round Walk, crossing the Moss and up to Sicklebrook Farm. There were good views of the valley in between the showers as we paused at the Rotary Bench. The return to Coal Aston was via Sicklebrook Lane, Eckington Road, Barnard Avenue and Drury Lane and was chosen to avoid more muddy footpaths. Still a pleasant walk despite the conditions, we arrived back at the church at 12.40pm.
SATURDAY 6th JANUARY 2018
Words and pics: Graham Gill
Our first walk of the New Year was a 10am start from the Pentland Road Shops car park, led by Graham Gill and was a circular route down to the fishing ponds at Barlow and back. Billed as an opportunity for lunch afterwards, Graham did a quick head count for those who wanted lunch and informed the Jolly Farmer of the numbers, before leading the group of 16 off across Sindelfingen Park.
The outward route was via Kitchen Wood, Cartledge and Brindwoodgate, and at Cartledge, Graham gave a little historical information on the two 15th century buildings that we passed – namely Cartledge Hall and Cartledge Grange, and the Norse/old English origin of the name Cartledge.
After a week of persistent rain, the route was carefully chosen as to miss the muddiest of the paths (where possible) and we reached the fishing ponds at around 11.30am where the coffee stop was taken. This is a lovely spot for a break, by the top pond, where there are several benches to sit and take in the view.
After the break, we continued past the other ponds where a Grey Heron few off as we approached. At Lea Bridge we turned left and took the more direct return route which took in Galloping Chase, Barlow Lees Lane and Cowley Lane. There were a couple of (unavoidable) quite muddy sections on the way back, but we ploughed on undeterred (excuse the pun)and were able to wash our boots off in a huge puddle on Cowley Lane.
Back past “Teletubby Hill” and around Sindelfingen Park on the newly resurfaced paths, we arrived back a few minutes before 1.00pm and enjoyed the great food and drink at the Jolly Farmer. A lovely walk despite a few muddy patches – but as good as you get up North in January!
Post-Christmas Gallop, Thursday 28th December.
Superb walk led by the Sadlers…. lots took part… other photos have been facebooked, the ones here are by Graham Gill….words by Steve Sadler:
On a crisp but clear morning 31 members & 2 dogs set off from Holmesfield for the final walk of the year. After all the festivities of Christmas there was much to talk about as we walked down through Holmesfield Park Wood to the lane at the bottom. Then turning up past Fanshaw Gate Hall before taking a path to the right passing Storth House and out onto Morwood Lane where a stop for coffee was taken. We then crossed the main road heading back to Holmesfield before turning off on the path for Horsleygate. There were exceptional views of snow-clad hills in the distance as we descended through the fields to Horsleygate Lane. Then on down through the Caravan Park with further fine views across the valley before picking up the path to Holmesfield – which could be seen on the skyline – eventually emerging opposite St Swithin’s Church from where it was a short walk back to the cars. An enjoyable walk of 4 miles was then rounded off with the option of lunch at the Moorlands and a superb quiz organised by John Ellis.
TUESDAY 12th DECEMBER 2017
Only eight hardy souls and a Staffy called Ozzie, set out on today’s walk with the sun shining and a good covering of snow on the ground. Led by Barry Jex, we set out from St. Andrew’s Church on a 5 mile route that took in Barnes Lane, Rod Moor Road, Holmesfield Park Wood, Cartlledge and Kitchen Wood. A really enjoyable walk, with a coffee break taken at the Millenium Garden in Holmesfield, we were treated to spectacular snow landscapes at various viewpoints along the way.
Saturday 21st October, we travelled to Ridgeway, to undertake a 5.5 mile walk, called Ridgeway on the maps page, 23 of us started on a Graham Gill walk, but without Graham as he was indisposed. However, after a shaky start, we re-found the way, and enjoyed a superb walk. A stop at the excellent Eckington Farm lawn cafe, we continued on the way, calling in at the Seldom Seen building, before we, or rather about half of the group, went and lunched at the White Swan, another excellent venue. The bonus here was a John Quiz! Here is the walk description:
RIDGEWAY – WEST MOSBOROUGH – ECKINGTON CHURCH – PLUMBLEY – RIDGEWAY WALK
Starting at The Swan pub in Ridgeway, cross the road and walk left and take the (signed) public footpath in front of the school and opposite the playground on the other side of the main road.
Go down here for about 200m and bear left at the bottom and follow this path across 3 fields (these may be ploughed at certain times) and pass Haven Farm No1 and up to the main road, and then Haven Farm No2. Just past No2 take the track to the right and after 200m take the left hand path and follow this for about ½ mile. This then splits into 2 paths, take the one to the right and after about 300m stop and have a look at the Heritage Circle for 5 or 10 minutes. Carry on along the same path and you reach a grass playing field on your right and walk down this to a playground and then turn right along the estate road. This is West Mosborough
Follow this for about 400m and look for a Green with some benches and trees on the right. Cross this and go down a track to the right of a newly (2017)built house. Keep left at the end and follow the edge of the field down to the bottom corner and bear right and follow the hedge again for about 300m. Turn left at an obvious path down the fields to the edge of Cadman Wood and turn left at the first path towards Eckington. Follow this and look for an old wartime bunker on you right but be careful if you go on top. This was used as a centre for the decoy lights that were placed in this area to fool the WW2 German bombers into thinking they were bombing Sheffield. I don’t suppose the Eckington folk were too happy about this. Carry on until you reach Gas House Lane and turn right and this area, where it crosses the Moss, was the site of Eckington Mill and there are local records showing it was used as a Sickle and Scythe sharpening Mill, a Corn Mill, a Saw Mill and a Wood Turning Mill at different times. Continue on Gas House Lane until you reach Eckington Church and Church Farm Tea Garden.
The Church Farm Tea Garden is very accommodating and highly recommended, or you can sit in the Church Yard if you take your own.
After refreshments retrace your steps back along Gas House Lane to Eckington Mill and on the right hand bend take the track on the left. Follow this for about ¾ mile through Ince Piece Wood and you will see Seldom Seen Engine House up a track on your left. This was the winding house for the Plumbley Colliery that went bankrupt around 1900, huge holes were knocked in the walls to remove the machinery intact and it was left derelict for nearly 100 years. The roof collapsed in stages and it became unstable, until the 1990’s when it was rebuilt, re-roofed and steel braced internally. Return to the main track and turn left and then straight ahead at a crossroads of tracks. Keep on this track through Twelve Acre Wood and it then becomes a path alongside a field and the wood and you then cross a concrete footbridge with steel handrails.
Just after this you go through/over a steel gate/stile on the right and then follow the path left up the field to Plumbley Lane at the corner of Bushes Wood. Turn left here and follow the track for about ½ mile and just before a sharp left hand turn take either of the two paths on the right. Climb to the top right hand corner of this field and over a stile onto another path. Turn left and follow the path down some steps to a footbridge over a brook. Cross the bridge and turn right and keep right to go over a stile and follow the path alongside woodland on the right. Follow this path for 3 or 4 more fields and it will bring you up by the side of the old Craft Centre and the start point.
The Swan is also highly recommended for their Pub Grub and fine beers.
The Round Dronfield Walk
As most of you may be aware there is a push to get the round walk back up to scratch, replacing broken styles and signs and clearing annual growth from the path.
It has been split into 10 sections with a person or persons agreeing to maintain their section. I have agreed on behalf of the DFBS to maintain section I which is from Dunston Farm to Bowshaw Farm (just before you go under the Dronfield Bypass).
It is hoped that at least once a year we can get a group together to cut back the weeds Etc and also report back to the team at The Barn any major issues.
I propose to do a clean up session on Saturday 23rd September at 10am and would be grateful to any members who could spare just a couple of hours to help. You would need to be responsible for your own safety and bring along some sort of tool! E.g. Secateurs, shears, small hand saw or a slasher!
We will meet at the end of Barnes Avenue near The Talbot. Please park responsibly. I shall visit The Talbot before hand and ask that anyone who may like to join Philip and I their for lunch afterwards could leave their car in their car park.
Any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Summer Season
Thursday 17th August, the final Thursday evening walk of the season….finishing in fine style, or even stile, at Troway Hall Farm, for a pie or burger, plus an amazing John Ellis Quiz.
these pics from Graham Gill
10th August, a Richard Smith walk, 34 people, of which quite a few were visitors, two of which signed up for membership…. a circular walk of the new Peak Resort footpath…. and here, I apologise for missing a turn, and taking you all along a very muddy track, which was NOT part of the official walk….thanks to Sophie at the Peak Resort for tea and coffee and biscuits on the way back…the new circular footpath is superb… and will be busy, and open hopefully, to the public on 19th August…
Today’s Walk: Tuesday 8th August, led by David Blackburn
FIRST AND LAST
After a wet night and a forecast of rain for most of the day, just 6 of us set out on our 5 mile walk around Unstone and Sheepbridge.
Long grass and crops meant we got wet from top and bottom – but we were well prepared. When I planned the walk several months ago , I hoped it would be the first walk around the new network around the Peak Resort, but in the event that still won’t be possible for another couple of weeks or so. So instead we will probably be the last group to be able walk the original bridleway between Ouzle Bank Farm and Sheepbridge before it closes.
Our route gave us glimpses of the new routes – a wide and well surfaced bridleway, suitable for wheelchairs, going down to our left and a still rather indistinct footpath going off to the right. We have made representations about this particular path and hope some improvements will be made before Council officials declare it an acceptable alternative.
At Sheepbridge, my plan was to walk over The Brushes to Old Whittington , but as I had found the paths in very poor condition when checking the route we decided to take a shorter route ( over more overgrown paths as it turned out) , going under the hidden but magnificent railway viaduct past Ramshaw House and back along the Unstone Line trail to our start point.
I have subsequently learned that the Ramblers’ Association footpaths officer submitted no fewer that 10 formal complaints yesterday about various issues relating to the path network in The Brushes area; disappointing that what used to be attractive and useful routes are now neglected and difficult to use
Dronfield Civic Centre walk, Thursday 27th July:
Ros wrote this, and also sent the pics: Hi, It forecast thunder and heavy rain, but 20 strode out and were blessed with constant sunshine. Until the sunset and we finished the walk in the dusk. Some would have liked to hitch a ride on a passing bike, but eventually we got everyone back to base at 9.30pm.
Coal Aston local walk, 20th July, words and pics Ros Sadler, and led by Hilary Pike
Eventually the sun shone and 18 of us enjoyed a walk through Moss Valley. Again very clear views, a little muddy in places but well worth doing. One of the advantages of the evenings getting shorter are the beautiful sunsets! So make the most of the last few Thursday evening walks!
Peter Carr is now unable to lead the walk on 3rd of August so if anyone would like to do it please phone Ros & Steve on 07505 223321. Otherwise you’ll have us leading 2 walks in a row!!
Saturday 15th July, the ‘not really a pub crawl walk’ starting at the Big Layby. Just half a dozen of us, including a brand new member, or rather she will be when she gets her form and fiver to us…. welcome Katrina.. we started the long slog uphill, via Summerley, and walked alongside the main runway of Apperknowle International Airport. Very quiet, no arrivals or departures… by this time, our legs and feet were quite damp, but we made our way over the fields and eventually arrived at the Gate Inn at Troway which had just opened. Suitable watered, we wended our way oer fields and meadows, then battled our way through shoulder high nettles and inpenetrable bracken to arrive at the main road. We crossed safely, and almost ran along the byway to Apperknowle, where we had a nice sit down, and another pint, outside the Travs. This heralded the end of the walk, leaving us to make our way unsteadily downhill, and home. Thanks to all who came along, inc the pooch.
Thursday 29th June
Despite dark clouds we had a lovely walk led by the knowledgable David Blackburn. The views were good and some lovely wild flowers. A Kingfisher darted by but sadly only spotted by our leader!There were 9 of us on last evenings walk and after 2 days of continuous rain , it had stopped , though was dull and threatening. The long grass and crops, battered down over the paths in several places , made our walk of under 4 miles rather more difficult than planned. Walk started eventfully – just a few yards from our starting point at Millthorpe, the leader went flat on his back crossing a slippery footbridge – very stiff , but basically undamaged this morning!. Our route took us to Barlow Woodseats Hall .on to Rumbling Street and back through Highlightly and Cartledge.
A great walk was had by 19 members and guests on Thursday 22nd June from Holmesfield. The weather was perfect. We walked from the Angel down to Woodthorpe Hall, over Totley Brook twice and then up to Fanshawe Gate Old Hall where we had a quick stop to cool and refresh under the trees. Then onwards and upwards over the Holmesfield road and round the fields of beautiful horses (which had not been there on our recce). Our proper drink stop was planned to be in a field with great views across the valley but the bulls heifers and calfs got there first( not there Monday!) (( I think they were Ayrshire : Ed))
Down through Holmesfield’s Butlins and then up to another field……with cows (not there Monday) gradually making our way back to Holmesfield Village Hall car park for 9.15pm. A few of us quenched our thirsts in The Angel to round off a very enjoyable evening.
Coal Aston local walk 15th June:
Ros Sadler sent this:Last nights walk was attended by 17 humans and 1 dog. Despite a poor weather forecast it didn’t rain until we were all safely home or in the pub, by which time no one cared. As you can see from the picture the views were good and even the dog managed the challenging styles!!
Also folks need to book their meal for the 18th August please phone us on
07505 223321. Thanks RosX
Thursday 8th June: a busy day! Ros Sadler sent this:
We had 9 on the walk this evening and enjoyed clear views, amazing sunset, orchids plenty and peacocks who were camera shy!
Hope you enjoy the photos.
Thursday 1st June, an evening walk: words and pics thanks to Graham Gill.
Dawn Chorus Walk, 7th May. An early start, meeting at Shillito woods, a dozen of us, including some Ornathological Society members, to whom we are exceedingly grateful for passing on their knowledge to us. A short walk, about 3 miles, pausing often to ssshhhh and listen.
The final walk of the 2017/7 winter season was led by Clive Waterhouse. Starting at Carlisle Close, Sheepbridge, we were led in beautiful sunshine to Old Whit, through the churchyard, which was ‘appealing’ over the fields, through the woods eventually through Hundall and back.
A Mini Round Dronfield Walk!
led by Karen Brightmore.
13 Intrepid walkers set out from the car park off Farwater Lane at 10 on the 4th March feeling happy that the sun had come out and the rain had past. We walked through the Lea Brook valley and on to the Gosforth playing fields and then making our way up to Barnes Avenue to join part of the round Dronfield footpath. That was when we hit THE MUD: the aftermath of Fridays rain! We slipped and slid along the edge of the golf course and made it into the fields! As we headed down the mud got deeper and deeper and by the time we got to the bottom of the fields, some had taken on water(into their boots!) Having got over the water we stopped for coffee and relax having navigated the worse bit of mud. It was then onwards and upwards to the Bowshaw, across the fields up Pig Hill Lane and on to the top of Green Lane. We then meandered through Jubilee Park, the Holmesdale estate and on to Cliffe Park for a toilet stop! All that was left was to make our way back past the station and on to Farwater Lane and our cars.
But by the end, much of the mud we had been promised had been washed off.
Graham Gill always takes photos… herevis one of him, and a couple of his:
Here are Graham Gill’s pics of the walk on Tuesday 21st February… looks like a good crowd.
Saturday 4th February: a walk and quiz led by Richard Smith started at Unstone Parish Hall, 24 participants including 4 new members, along the Unstone line, the old railway line that was used to carry coal from the local mines. First call was to the Drone Valley Brewery, and we were welcomed by Jez Horton, who gave a superb descriptive talk, and showed us around. Onwards via Metapic Wood, Frith Wood, and up to Summerley. On the descent from Summerley, we were intriged by a snapping sound, which we tracked down to a short circuit from the electric cattle fence, sparking to a tree stump. Later, back on the boardwalk back along the old railway line, Graham Gill spotted some Scarlet Elf Cup fungi, photographed by Mick Fairest. Back at the Hall the quiz sheets were marked, and Graham told us he’d spotted 16 different birds en route. New members Steve and Sonia won the quiz!
Tuesday 17th January: a David Blackburn-led walk from Coal Aston. He writes:
A group of 16 met this morning at the ‘Top Chapel’ in Coal Aston , where we were kindly offered tea/coffee and toasted teacakes in the warmth before setting off on our 4 mile walk . The route took us through woods and fields in the Moss Valley to Hazelbarrow Farm, where we made a short detour to say ‘hello’ to the resident alpacas before continuing our circuit. We returned through Owler Car and Nor Woods ,then more field paths back to Coal Aston The day was dull , but still and pleasant and although we encountered some mud , conditions underfoot were generally very reasonable.
The following information is an extract from an article called “Wild side” published in The Star on Saturday January 28th by Professor Ian D. Rotherham. ” Other species, especially birds have made their own way here, many aided by climate change or habitat restoration projects. One such example is the Little Egret, a small, brilliant white heron. This was the subject of a message from Mick Fairest with an observation from the rural Moss Valley just south of Sheffield: “Hello Ian, I thought you might want to know of a sighting of a Little Egret landing in Cook Spring Wood, Moss Valley. The record has been passed to me by members of Dronfield Footpaths Society who are also members of Dronfield Wildlife Group”. This is indeed an interesting record of a species now colonising rapidly across much of Britain. However, even today this is largely restricted to coastal zones and larger inland water bodies such as big reservoirs. I would guess the bird was roosting in the woodland having flown in from nearby Rotherham Valley Country Park or somewhere similar. Migrating birds also tend to use the east-west aligned river valley of the Moss Brook as a navigational route on their travels. Expect more of these delightful birds.
Our first walk of the year was on Saturday 7th January, when
Graham Gill led a party of 23 walkers on a 5.2 mile walk to Barlow
Fishing Ponds and back. Starting from the Pentland Road shops car park
in lovely sunshine, and unusually mild for January, the outward route
took in Kitchen Wood, Cowley Lane, Cartledge and Brindwoodgate before
arriving at the ponds. At more or less half way, the coffee stop was
taken here by the top pond, still in bright sunshine, where chocolates
and jelly babies were handed round courtesy of Eileen and Graham. After
a 20 minute break we walked down past the rest of the ponds and the cafe
to Lee Bridge where we turned left and headed back towards Dronfield. A
few light clouds had started to gather on the return journey which took
us along Galloping Close to Barlow Lees Lane. We turn left in the dip
and followed the path up to Cowley Lane where we turned right and then
left at Cherry Tree Farm. We then turned right and followed the path
back to the starting point via “Tellytubby Hill” and Sindelfingen Park.
On the way round we saw a Buzzard circling, a Jay and heard Nuthatch
amongst the more common Crows, Magpies, Wood Pigeons and House Sparrows.
Not much in the way of flora was seen – Gorse, Dandelion and Daisy in
flower – pretty much par for January. The walk was billed as
“opportunity for lunch” afterwards, and the majority went in the Jolly
Farmer for lunch or a well earned drink after changing out of their
boots. A really nice walk to start the year.
Thursday 29th December, 31 intrepids met at the Rutland Arms,Cowley Lane for a quick 4.5 mile walk before lunch there. It had been a very frosty night, but today, the sun shone, and there was a beautiful blue sky. Steve Sadler had planned this one, but had not planned to take a tumble off a ladder and fracture a few bones. However, he and Ros met us in the pub, where he told us all about his new shoulder! A really nice walk, some new faces, and a couple of stops for coffee and chats. Some great views. Lunch at the Rutland for just ten of us scoffing pie and peas, they had not catered for a couple of other groups, despite our booking in, so the rest of the walkers had to make do with sandwiches, baked potatoes and crisps. The pub had also asked us to delay our arrival for lunch by an hour, as another group had pinched our slot. A puzzling John-led quiz, where most of us showed we were not very good at 1960s films!
And some photos by Graham Gill…..
Tuesday 13th December…. by David Blackburn
We gathered at St Andrews Church in Dronfield Woodhouse for coffee and toasted teacakes before 19 of us set out on our 4.5 mile morning walk. Weather was bright at first , but turned to drizzle later on . Our route took us through Kitchen Wood and past the splendid old halls at Cartledge, then down the fields to Brindwoodgate – though the usual wide ranging views were hidden in the mist. We continued to Peakley Hill then took the steep path up the steps to Barlow Lees. This group would not have been able to use the path until relatively recently , but thanks to the work of Ramblers’ Association volunteers, there’s now a long flight of sturdy steps up the previously very slippery bank. Our route continued on to Cowley and back to Dronfield Woodhouse in time for lunch.
Thanks to Graham Gill for these photographs. He also told me “On the way round, I saw approx. 200 Fieldfare and a Dog Fox between Cartledge Lane and Brindwoodgate. Also Bramble, Bittercress, Gorse and Nipplewort still in flower – not bad for December.”
Our next Tuesday walk is on 13 January. We shall gather at Coal Aston Wesley Reform Church on Cross Lane from 9.30am, where drinks and toasted teacakes will again be available before we commence our walk at 10am. Before then, however, we have one other walk…… Saturday 7th January starting from Pentland Road shops. Details on the programme page….All welcome
Not a Pub Crawl, Saturday 19th November
21 intrepid walkers set out from ‘the big layby’ on a beautifully sunny day. Up through the woods and fields to Summerley, along by the Apperknowle International Airport, crossing the Eckington road, and through more woods to near The Gate at Troway, where some walkers tried out the new cafe at Troway Hall Farm, the rest of us caught our breath in a nearby field. We set off again, as the Gate was yet to open, and headed off through the fields, over a couple of electric fences…. naughty landowner…. and headed back up to the Eckington road again. ignoring the Brook at Troway, we headed off along the byway to regroup at the Travellers, Apperknowle. an excellent pint there, some of the group made their excuses, and headed back to their cars. Having gathered a new walker, Ruth’s daughter, a smaller group headed off to the Miners at Hundall for another pint and sit down. we then headed off, very refreshed, some to go back to the big layby, I went through the woods home to Unstone. So nice also, to have five new members with us….. but please note, not all our walks are pub crawls!
And a photo from Graham Gill
Tuesday 8th November
Today’s Tuesday morning walk started at Dronfield Woodhouse, where 24 of us enjoyed tea and toast at St Andrews Church before setting out on our walk of about 5 miles.
The weather was cold but bright as leader Barry Jex took us along Barnes Lane towards Bradway, where we turned back to Mickley and dropped down towards Woodthorpe and there enjoyed a coffee break. We continued along the field path,before turning uphill along Hob lane, crunching the dry Autumn leaves as we went. At Holmesfield Common we followed paths to Cartledge , with splendid views across the Cordwell Valley and well beyond. From Cartledge our route was through Kitchen Wood back to Dronfield.
An excellent Autumn walk, enjoyed by all
Sunday 16th October….. raining, pouring down. Shall I stay in bed for another half hour? NO! We have guests for the weekend. My sister and brother in law, and we promised them we would take them on the DFBS walk around the Coldwell Valley. So, in all, 7 of us turned out, unfortunately, our leader Peter Carr and his wife had to turn back. We nominated Joe Kelsall to take charge! We walked from Millthorpe, via Rumbling Street, Moorhall, towards Unthank and Johnnygate before returning to the cars, and after the three wet miles, the rain stopped.
The first walk of the Winter Warmers Season was led by Peter Carr, on Tuesday 11th October.
There were 14 on the walk today who endured the drizzle (and the sunshine at the end) and took up the invitation from the new owners of the re-named ‘The Brook at Troway’ (formerly the Inn at Troway) to have a look round at the interior. The opening night is this Saturday! (15th October – Ed) Hope they can turn it around.
The route was Coal Aston WRC – Owler Car Lane, Sickle Brook Farm, Troway, The Brook at Troway, The airfield at Summerley, Summerley, the sledging field, Frith Wood, Firthwood Road, Barnard Road and along the footpaths and road to Coal Aston.
Tuesday 20th September
14 of us met at the Hyde Park on Hilltop Road, and walked to Ouzle Bank Cottage and then down through the woods towards Sheepbridge. We were informed that part of
our route was due for imminent closure as part of the developments around Unstone and that a new greenway would be established. We walked up the track towards the
By-pass footbridge and back to Hilltop via Lees Common and Cowley. The day became quite warm and a mixed walk of just over 6 miles was enjoyed.
The above walk was led by Richard Armstrong, and the pic came from Graham Gill. This was the last of the Summer 2016 walks.
11th August: I have just got home after a really nice Richard Armstrong – led walk from Holmesfield, which of course means that the last half of the walk back will probably be all uphill! Here is his report:
16 walkers met in Holmesfield Village Hall car park on a cool overcast evening. We walked through Holmesfield to Cowley Lane, and across to Cartledge. Then downhill towards Millthorpe through a thistle meadow before edging right for Horsleygate and up to Lidgate. We then went towards Fanshawe Gate before cutting across fields towards Holmesfield Road. In the final field we met a group of curious young cows. The situation was made more exciting as the leader missed a fork in the path in the gathering gloom, meaning that we had a gate to climb over rather than the easier stile. We all arrived safely back at the car park.
and here are my pics:
Here is another recent one, relating to the Tuesday 9th August morning walk.
There were18 on today’s 6 mile Tuesday morning walk, which was led by Ruth Hepworth and had an historical theme.
The enjoyable walk began at Coal Aston and went through Frith Wood to the old centre of Dronfield, exploring some old industrial sites including a newly opened footpath and bridge on a former mill site. Damstead Works made spindles for the textile industry and in 1856 was subject to a ‘rattenning’ where the mill was damaged as part of widespread industrial unrest in the Sheffield area at the time. In this instance gunpowder was dropped down the chimney, with the perpetrator sentenced to 4 years hard labour.
“This mischief had been accomplished by lowering down the chimney a garden water can, filled with gunpowder, and plugged at the apertures with wood, so as to form an explosive shell”.
Railway history in the town was then explored and the group also looked at the recently restored 16th century Dronfield Barn Heritage Centre. The walk continued over field paths to Stubley Hollow and Bowshaw and then back to Coal Aston
see http://nedias.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/NEDIAS-Newsletter-No-19-August-2005.pdf for more details of Damstead Works
Saturday 16th July, a Ros and Steve walk starting at Dronfield Civic Centre;
“Had a great walk today, great views, good company and lovely cake at St Swithians. Although only 5 of us will repeat next year. Photo for the records!!”
Thursday 7th July, 24 DFBS members enjoyed a 4 mile walk on a route through Moss Valley, Long Wood and Jordonthorpe lead by Adrian Slome and Jean Thorpe
Tuesday 5th July: a walk led by David Blackburn, Millthorpe, Unthank and Smeekley Wood. He writes:
There were 10 of us on our 6 mile,Tuesday morning, walk around the Cordwell Valley. We had a bright and breezy morning and splendid views across the valley
Starting from Dronfield Woodhouse, our route was through Cartledge and along to Unthank, with a very close encounter with a ( fortunately, friendly) bull and a struggle
( though successful) to get through rampant brambles at one point. We returned to Dronfield via Millthorpe and Cowley.
Meanwhile, huge thanks to Ros and Steve for stepping in to lead the walk I had planned for Thursday 23rd. I was called up for Poll Clerk duty, for which I had to be at my polling station at 6am, and could not leave until gone 10pm.
And another ‘meanwhile’, someone is trying to hack into this web site, so if you see anything untoward here, please let me know asap.
Millthorpe-Unthank-Rumbling Street-Millthorpe 4 miles
Thursday 26th May led by Karen Brightmore
18 walkers gathered at the bottom of Millthorpe lane on a warm evening. After crossing the ford at Millthorpe we made our way to Unthank and then crossed the fields into Meekfield wood. The path was very muddy and we had to weave round one or two fallen trees but made it through and up the steep hill to Moorhall farm. After crossing Rumbling Street we made our way through undulating fields to some quite slippy stone steps, but all managed to get down without a fall!
We had to walk a short distance along the Barlow road but fortunately no cars came past and at the Cruck Barn Holiday property we turned down the fields past Crowhole Reservoir. Just a short pull up to another Cruck Barn and farm where there was a particularly vicious dog, but fortunately it was on a lead! Then it was downhill all the way passing through Jonnygate on our way back to the ford and cars. It had been quite muddy and slippy in places, but we all got back with only our boots muddy!
We went through Cowley , on into Monkwood and then skirted Barlow. Several new tree carvings in a garden earned many complimentary comments before we had a coffee break above the fish ponds. A steep climb took us up to Barlow Lees then back over the fields to our starting point. Despite recent heavy rain, we avoided most of the mud, though the anticipated sunshine failed to materialse and it was dull and rather misty all morning ….
Walk Report – 19 Jan. 2016 by Richard Armstrong
Start Point – St. Andrews Church – 10.00am
Route – Across the park: Towards Cowley Lane by Cowley Hall Farm; Over the Lane and left turn on field paths to Cartledge; more field paths to Holmesfield Church; Through Holmesfield Park Wood; over the stream and up the very soggy field to a junction of footpaths; Right turn towards Pearsons Farm and Holmesfield Road; Return to St.Andrews via Carr Lane and Wentworth Road.
Return at 12.30
Terrain – Undulating, with a number of short climbs. Unsurprisingly, the tracks and paths were wet and soggy with some very muddy sections
Numbers – 17
People seemed to enjoy the walk and notice was given of the next 5 walks
The first walk of the New Year was on Saturday 2nd January, led by Graham Gill from the Talbot Arms, Carr Lane when 14 members (mudskippers) turned out on a very wet morning with a poor forecast. Graham had put together a 5 mile route taking in Barnes Lane, Dore & Totley Golf Club, Tinkers Corner, Totley Brook, Fanshawe Gate Lane and returning via Mickley, Northern Common and Longcroft Road. The route was chosen as it had a good amount of decent walking surfaces – but as always with the winter programme walks there were some quite muddy sections too. Despite the quite heavy rain at the start everyone was keen to do the walk, and the group set off at 10.00am along Barnes Lane towards Bradway. After a short distance the heavy rain eased, and gave way to mainly drizzle which remained for the rest of the walk. coffee stop was taken by the side of Totley Brook, which was high due to the recent heavy rain, and a bag of chocolates was handed around by Eileen. We carried on through Gillfield Wood and up behind Woodthorpe Hall, onto Fanshawe Gate Lane and then through the bottom of Holmesfield Park Wood. As we left the wood this was probably the muddiest section, across a very squelchy field towards Mickley Lane. The rest of the walk was on good surfaces and we arrived safely back at the Talbot Arms car park on schedule at 12.45. The walk was billed as having “opportunity for lunch at the Talbot afterwards” on the walks programme, and 10 of the group enjoyed some lovely food and drinks afterwards to round off a very enjoyable walk despite the conditions. Everyone thanked Graham for the walk and it was suggested that the walk be repeated on the Summer Walks programme when the weather might be a little kinder to us. Watch this space.
the Festive Christmas walk
The final walk of 2015 took place on Tuesday 29th December when a record number of 37 members set off on a 4 mile walk from the Rutland Arms at Cowley Bar led by Steve & Ros Sadler.
The weather was perfect for walking – mild, dry and blue skies with a hint of sunshine at times, although conditions underfoot were rather muddy & slippery in places after all the recent rain.
The route mainly on footpaths took in Cartledge, Holmesfield Common, Fanshaw Gate, Gillfield Wood, Woodthorpe Hall, Holmesfield Park Wood and back to Cowley Bar.
Lunch which had been pre-booked was taken at the Rutland Arms and followed by a quiz devised by John Ellis to finish off a very enjoyable days walking.
( the pies at the Rutland are SUPERB! Also, they have a good range of rather excellent ales.)
Tuesday 15th December: 15 walkers set off on a very foggy morning, following trusty leader Graham. Jane Smith was heard to say ” I don’t want to be at the back in case you lose me” in the end, it was not Jane that got lost!! The walk through Moss Valley encompassed Coal Pit Wood, Long Wood, Hazlebarrow Farm (looking at alpacas), continuing to the wetlands, Hazlehurst Lane and back through Nor Wood. A very enjoyable walk, though muddy in places. Jane (the scribe) met Karen, our new secretary, also two local ladies with a wealth of knowledge. She is looking forward to the next walk, the last of 2015, on 29th December.
The final walk of the Summer Season was led by David Blackburn. He sent this to me: There were 20 of us on this 5 mile walk, including friends from the Dronfield Footpaths and Bridleways Society. We caught the bus from Dronfield Woodhouse to Sheepbridge and walked into the industrial estate. We followed some little used paths along a green and wooded corridor, accompanied by the thrum from the almost hidden factories. Quite surprising that these routes have survived all the building developments in this busy area. Our route continued into Cobnar Wood, using a path recently the subject of major improvement work by members of the Ramblers’ working party, then past the Barlow fishing ponds before climbing up Brindwoodgate Lane, along to Cowley Hall and across the fields back to Dronfield. David
and fittingly, the first walk of the 2015 Autumn/Winter programme was organised by David. He sent this to me:
There were 15 of us on the walk I led this morning.We started at St Andrew’s Church in Dronfield Woodhouse , where we enjoyed coffee and toasted teacakes before we set off on a 5 mile walk which encircled Holmesfield.
Our route was through Kitchen Wood to Cartledge, where we enjoyed views of Autumn colours across the Cordwell Valley. Then on tO Holmesfield Common and back round to Dronfield via Rod Moor and Mickley
A dull cool start give way to light drizzle, but the sun soon came out to give a very pleasant morning for our walk.
And on to the second walk of the season, Saturday 24th October, led by stalwart Peter Carr, where a walk around the Cordwell Valley had been planned. I was sorry I could not join in, but Peter writes:
There were four hardy walkers that ignored the forecast of heavy rain and wind to be lead on a very enjoyable 5 mile walk by Peter from Millthorpe taking in Unthank, Meekfield Wood, Moorhall, Barlow Grange, Barlow Woodseats and Jonnygate. The rain and wind never really materialised as was forecast meaning that the autumn colours of this part of the Cordwell Valley did not disappoint. Coffee stop was in a little piece of woodland near Grangewood Farm which gave us some shelter (and Adrian time to sort out some arrangements around his tumble dryer). With the elements abated we carried on. Snippets of local history were discussed such as the air crash in 1970 in Stripes Wood (a woodland we had passed through) and the still missing ejector seat from the crashed McDonnell-Douglas RF-4C Phantom II. Glyn was always on hand to add a little more detail to the mix. We passed through the cruck barn being renovated at Barlow Woodseats Hall, where, when it’s finished you’ll be able to hold a function such as a wedding. As ever, Graham was able to give us a bit more information on how the barn was put together and has managed to stand there for 600 years. If only the planners of the 1960’s had learned those lessons! We finished by 12.40pm with plenty of time to watch the World Cup rugby.Regards, Peter
Thursday 29th August, a short walk organised by Barbara Newick and Hilary Pike took us around a few footpaths in Unstone. A quick stop by Unstone War memorial watching a couple of green parakeets in the tree. Having parked at the Fleur de Lys, we finished there to enjoy a pie and pea supper. Plus a cracking John Ellis quiz to help the pie and ale go down. Thanks!
Thursday 13th August: Graham Gill led a smaller than usual group: 19; starting at the car park behind the village hall in Coal Aston. Fewer probably, due to the rain we were expecting! As it turned out, we had only a couple of spots which did not even damp the dust. Graham led us on a shorter walk than originally planned, over towards Hazelbarrow.
Some very interesting funghii spotted on a fallen tree, 5 varieties!
Buzzards made their presence known by the screeching that reminded me of the seagulls at Whitby they were so loud! We saw at least 4 flying overhead for most of our walk. Heading back to the car park, I am sure, really sure, that I saw a small Muntjac deer running across, followed by a hare. Maybe it was a couple of hares, I prefer the deer version though.
Thursday 6th August: Ros and Steve Sadler led a short walk starting at Holmesfield Village Hall car park towards Totley, through the woods, across the fields until we reached Fanshaw Gate, where we had a good mosey around the stunning gardens. Back to the car park for 9pm, and on to the pub!!
Thursday 30th July: Glyn Williams led us along one of his favourite walks, starting at the Hyde Park Inn, through Monkwood and Barlow Lees. very nice walk, and again, well-supported.
Thursday 24rd July: a delightful 4 mile walk led by Barry Jex, which took us from the start, at Gorsey Brigg, over Sindelfingen Park, past Tellytubby land, via Cowley Hall, Cartledge Hall, Holmesfield and back to, erm…. The Jolly Farmer ( where I started the evening too!)
The Balsam Bash!
A group of volunteers turned out on July 18th to start the Big Balsam Bash on the Unstone Line. The main point being to pull up the invasive plant making sure the roots come out, and before the seed pods have had a chance to develop and pop. It will be a long slog to clear the area, but well worth the effort.
Keep an eye out for the next Bash, it IS rewarding.
Thursday evening walk, 9th July.
Richard Armstrong led 33 walkers (is this a record?) from the Hyde Park Inn, on Hilltop Road, along the aformentioned road, through Hallowes Golf Club, across the bypass, through Monk Wood and down to Barlow Fish ponds. Every downhill means an uphill, but there were no complaints, certainly not on this fine sunny wind-free evening, as we wended our way back ‘home’. A delightful 5 mile walk, marred only by one of the walkers, not mentioning her name, who took a nasty fall on a tree root. This particular part of the track was quite rough, and not helped by the strong, low sunshine effectively making the pathway darker. I didn’t stay at the Hyde Park afterwards, but hope that some of the walkers won the pub quiz!!
and this from one of the walks leaders: Ros Sadler.
So far all our walks have been blessed with good weather, and as you can see from the photos we are learning, and visiting interesting places along the way. Thanks again to all our walk leaders for all the brilliant walks we have enjoyed so far.
Ros & Steve.
An earlier report:
So far we have had 4 very good walks, but calling it summer is a bit of an understatement, as you can see from our woolly hats and gloves. Still it was dry company good and lovely wild flowers. So plenty more to go, we look forward to seeing you on the future walks. Two photos to inspire you. Ros.