Walks notes, reports, photographs

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.

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 18th November, the Not a Pubcrawl Walk. Started later than usual, so that the Gate at Troway would be open, just in case one or two of the walkers needed a glass of water….. or something. 14 of us started out from the Big Layby, which soon became 16, then 18. Pleasant trek up towards Summerley, the “Village with No Name”, the Parish Council have asked for village signs to be provided, but those higher up the political chain have said “NO, there are only 6 houses”. Ongoing….
So, along the aerodrome, over the fields, through the woods, and there was The Gate. Respite here, then up and up, along the bridleway to arrive, tongues hanging out, at the Corner Pin…. ie. the Travs at Apperknowle. A refreshing sit down, some had to wait while others enjoyed the amber liquid. We said bye bye to a few walkers, so the smaller, and maybe faster group wended its weary way to Hundall, and carelessly tripped over another welcoming hostelry. The dogs needed a break…. We were by now, a very small group, just 5, and after a good chat, rolled down the hill, and back to the Big Layby. Thanks to all for being so enthusiastic, we must do it again!!!! SOON!!! Thanks to Graham for snapping these:

Walk on Tuesday 7th November began with coffee and toast at St Andrew’s Church before 9 of us left for a 5 mile circuit around Monk Wood, Barlow Bridge  and Cowley.

 We looked at oak apples in Monk Wood and talked about their use over the many centuries in the manufacture of long lasting ink. A little further on, we also talked about the lead ore smelting that took place nearby , with the ore being brought down from the hills to be smelted in the nearest area where there was a reliable supply of timber to make ‘white coal’. Our return route took us up Red Lane where we had another reminder –  of the coal mining heritage around Barlow

 The weather was damp and dismal in the early stages , turning to quite heavy rain on the final stages of the walk 
David Blackburn

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:


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 karenbrightmore@hotmail.com
Thank you

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


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!!
Thanks RosX

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.

Nineteen walkers and a big white sheepdog met at Coal Aston Village Hall on a lovely summer evening for a four and a quarter mile walk in the Moss Valley. Led by Graham Gill, who described it as an ‘old’ favourite as we had not done it for 2 or 3 years, the outward route included Nor Wood, Long Wood, Hazlebarrow Farm and Wetlands. There was a lot of birdsong as we walked through Nor Wood and Long Wood with several Song Thrushes heard along with Robin, Blackbird and Blue Tit. The usual stop to see the Alpacas behind Hazlebarrow Farm provided us with a photo opportunity as they all made their way to the fence to have a look at US! Carrying on, we passed through a series of five new field gates which have replaced stiles which were in a very poor state of repair and becoming quite unsafe to get over. The work was carried out by the Ramblers Association working party and they have done an excellent job – our thanks to them. The drinks stop was taken at Wetlands, a lovely spot, but this time marred by the new owners who made it very clear that we were not welcome. This is a real pity, as the previous owners were great, would always have a chat, let you have a look at the pond and even took group shot photos for us on previous occasions. It seems this won’t be the case anymore and one to remember if you are passing through here in future. The old Yorkshire saying “ There’s nowt as queer as folk ” springs to mind. We turned right onto Lightwood Lane and continued down Hazelhurst Lane and took the path down the edge of the field to the bottom of Newfield Spring Wood. On through Bridle Road Wood and down Dowey Lumb and then the steady climb back towards Coal Aston. Through Cook Spring Wood, the birds were still in fine voice with Song Thrush again being the most noticeable. As we walked across the last few fields there was a lovely sunset and a Skylark was heard over in the fields to our right. After a nice steady pace we arrived back at the car park at 9.15pm. With our usual pub, the Royal Oak, now closed on Thursday evenings it was off to the Crossed Daggers for dripping cakes and a well deserved pint – a great way to end the evening.

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.

14th March, walk led and organised by Jeannie and Adrian….15 members enjoyed a 5.4 mile local walk starting at Coal Aston. Wesley Reform Church where Muriel provided members with tea and biscuits. We then headed thru Jubilee Park, skirting  Frith Wood, calling at Metapic Wood enjoying  the natural sculptures and quotations and catching up on the history of the place before walking on towards Ramshaw Lodge.
Coffee break was taken at this point with Graham taking many photographs for the website.
After passing through Unstone, we headed via Apperknowle to Summerley, down through The Riddings and back through village. 
It was taken at a pleasurable, leisurely pace with lots of social interaction and interesting topics of conversation. and here are Graham’s pics:

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.

Her boots before…

And after

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.

img_1119 img_1126 img_1133 img_1137 

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

 David Blackburn

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.

He writes:

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.

Richard Armstrong

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!

The last walk of the winter season led by Graham Gill: here are his jottings, and photos he took on the walk,MOSS VALLEY WALK – 5 MILES – TUESDAY 12th APRIL 2016                                               After hot drinks and toast which were available at the Wesleyan Reform Chapel, Coal Aston,  Graham Gill led a party of 19 walkers on a 5 mile walk around the Moss Valley.  A good turnout on a dull morning with the forecast of some rain before lunchtime.  The party set out at 10.00am and left Coal Aston along Eckington Road and then Sicklebrook Lane towards Troway.  On leaving  Mires Spring Wood, the rain had started to fall, but only lightly at this point, so we carried on through Troway and down Doe Lane. The coffee stop was taken at Geer Lane fishing ponds by the side of the River Moss, a lovely little spot where there were some early Bluebells and Wood Anemones in flower.   We carried on up through the bottom of Ryalls Wood towards Povey Farm, where we turned left down to the ford and then followed The Moss back towards Coal Aston.  There were a few muddy sections near to Dowey Lumb and the rain was getting heavier as we skirted Nor Wood and then back over the fields to finish at the chapel at around 1.00pm.                                   This was the last walk on the winter programme, so we can now look forward to the very interesting looking Summer Programme and hopefully some sunshine.IMG_9591
Clive Waterhouse’s walk on Sunday April 3rd…. report to follow, but meanwhile, here are my pics:
The walk on Tuesday 15th March was led by David Blackburn, he writes : After enjoying toast and a drink, 22 of us set off from Dronfield Woodhouse on our 5 mile morning walk.
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 ….
Tuesday 1st March, Barry Jex led a walk from the ‘long lay-by’.
He writes:    A group of 9 set off in the rain but it stopped after a few minutes and the weather turned out fine – just right for a stroll in the country. We began from the Unstone lay-by and followed the Unstone Way for the early part of the walk, then up the hill towards Hundall, turning back beyond Woodsmithies Farm into Unstone and then through a very muddy field to join the road past Summerley, Frith Wood and finally Metapic Wood. The whole trip of four and a half miles took us just over two hours! We were fortunate to have a “local” with us who was able to enlighten us with some historical notes as we passed points of interest.
Regards, Barry
On Tuesday 23rd February 28 walkers met at Coal Aston, Wesleyan Reform church.
They embarked on a local walk which took them along Jean and Adrian’s ‘adopted footpaths’ 33 & 35.Photographs highlight the recently repaired steps.
The 4 1/2 mile walk continued via Jordanthorpe to Coal Pit Wood and Hazlebarrow Farm and back to Coal Aston through the Moss Valley. The group expressed their thanks and delight for a lovely walk on such a stunning, sunny day.
Walking is a great opportunity for people to walk and talk and put the world to rights.
Local issues are also ‘sorted’ during such a relaxing atmosphere while enjoying the environment.
thanks to Adrian Slome and Jeannie Thorpe for the above.

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 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!!

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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.

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it was one of those ‘once in a blue moon’ walks!!P1000605

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!)

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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