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.

Tuesday 11th March, an Adrian Slome walk, from Coal Aston.

Pics from Graham Gill

  • Webmaster’s note….the caption says ‘Frith Wood’  …. a much better name than the ‘alternative’, wouldn’t you agree?

7th March, a Joe Kelsall walk.

Photos from Graham Gill


Tuesday 25th February: David Blackburn (stand-in Leader)

With the recent very wet weather and a poor forecast,I was pleasantly surprised when there were14 of us , including our newest member on her first walk, for this morning’s excursion around the Moss Valley.Things started with a hiccup as the planned hot drinks and toast were unavailable . It was an unexpected pleasure to set off with sunshine and blue skies- which stayed with us throughout the walk. Our route took us along Cross Lane, up into Long Wood and onto Hazelhurst Lane, then round past Povey Farm and up Owler Car Lane back to Coal Aston . Distance was a little under 5 miles , but it seemed more as the underfoot conditions made it rather hard work in placesMy challenge was to find paths that were reasonably mud free, which we largely managed except for three shortish lengths – over the field into the woods near the start, up the field path to Hazelhurst and around Povey Farm. This was a particularly bad spot as a lot of farm vehicles had churned the whole area into a thick gloop, with just no way of avoiding it. I then used Owler Car Lane as an alternative to the planned route to Troway, as it was obvious that way was very, very wet.. It was not an easy option as although it has a hard surface, this has been badly damaged and rutted by the heavy rains – and its all uphill too.Everyone returned safely – and cheerful too, despite a lot of work ahead to clean muddy boots and trousers

and the following from Graham Gill:

We were very pleased to welcome new member June Clegg on her first walk with us today. It seems that June is quite a keen bird watcher as she brought along her binoculars and used them at every opportunity. On the way round today she and I spotted lots of interesting sightings :-
A Buzzard being harassed by a Sparrowhawk over Cross Lane Farm
A Treecreeper and a pair of Jays at the coffee stop in Long Wood
Dunnocks and Goldfinch on Hazlehurst Lane
A group of around 15 Lapwings in a field near Povey Farm
A group of 4 Buzzards circling over Owler Car Lane
June heard a Yellowhammer on Sicklebrook Lane
Welcome, June. You will be a very useful asset to the DFBS on walks in the future.


Tuesday 10th February: a Steve & Ros Sadler walk

It was a cold but bright morning as 16 hardy souls gathered at Cowley Mission for a Winter Warmer Walk. Not knowing what to expect after Storm Ciara the previous weekend, we set off on a five mile walk fuelled by tea or coffee and toast provided by Pat and Graham at the Mission. Conditions underfoot were surprisingly good as we headed through Monk Wood on a delightful route of footpaths and bridleways. We eventually reached Barlow Fisheries for our coffee stop and right on cue the sunshine broke through! Fortified once more we continued our walk via Peakley Hill and Brindwoodgate before heading back to Cowley Mission. Despite a couple of sleety showers and our muddy boots an enjoyable walk.  

 Photos from Graham Gill.

Saturday 1st February: an Angela Land walk

She writes: 26 walkers set off from the big lay-by between Dronfield and Unstone on a beautiful sunny morning, we could have done with a bit less wind but otherwise the weather was perfect. Our route took us across the road past Unstone Hall and uphill to Ouzle Bank Cottage, we reached the edge of Hallowes golf course and turned to cross the A61 using the footbridge with the curly end. From there we walked through Monk Wood (which was a lot prettier with more trees in it) and through some soggy fields before stopping for tea / coffee at Barlow Brook. We passed the entrance to Barlow Fishery and used a bridleway to get to Barlow Lees Lane, then turned up quite a steep hill back to Monk Wood, the curly bridge, then through the golf course and through the literary part of Dronfield to get to the last two fields downhill back to the lay-by.

We heard a lot of shooting, I heard some grumbling that we had walked far more uphill than down, and I moaned a lot about the stiles being generally too high for short people to get over easily before I fell off one of them.

I told everyone that the walk was 6 miles long but it was really 6.2 miles, most of it apparently uphill. I only took one photo, this was the steepest uphill bit.

Richard’s photos of the trail to Barlow and back via Hallowes

Tuesday 14th January:

I was pleasantly surprised that there were 12 of us out on today’s 4.5 mile walk, as it was very gloomy and storms forecast for later in the morning. In the event , it remained dry for about half of the walk and then rained steadily for our return leg. We were all expecting poor weather and well clad and shod to defy the elements. We left Dronfield Woodhouse on the path beside the former Methodist Chapel -rather muddy in places , but not unexpected and went down the hill and along the edge of Holmesfield Park Wood,again quiet muddy and slippery. Then on past Woodthorpe Hall. Underfoot conditions were quite poor and we intended to follow the footpath that runs parallel to the very wet bridleway to the Shepley Spitfire pub.Unfortunately our path was deliberately obstructed in 2 places and at a 3rd point blocked  again, this time by a fallen tree. Part of the path was also ploughed right to the hedge, so I have reported it all to the County Council Rights of Way Team [ pictures attached]. Fortunately the bridleway was close by and we were able to splash our way along without too much difficulty. From the Spitfire we took the  dry and well surfaced bridleway up the hill to Tinkers Corner at Bradway and returned to our starting point along Northern  Common and Barnes Lane.

David Blackburn

I was planning on joining the group, and was travelling to the start on a 43, but it was sadly delayed by a few minutes, so I missed out. I walked on a different route, along the part of the Round Walk we look after, which was very, very muddy in places. Spotted these funny looking horses in a field. Richard S

Saturday 4th January 2020:

The first walk of the new year saw Graham Gill lead a party of 26 walkers on a five and a quarter mile circular walk from the Pentland Road Shops Car Park.  Starting out at 10.00am the route took us out on Barnes Lane and over the Dore & Totley Golf Club course to Bradway. The sky was overcast with a faint drizzle in the air, but this improved as we made our way around. There were a few muddy areas along the way but nothing that we couldn’t walk round or pick a way through with care. On reaching Bradway we turned left on the main road and up to Tinker’s Corner where we went straight over and followed the bridleway and footpath down to the bottom of Mickley Lane.  Here we took the track to the left of The Shepley Spitfire pub which was probably the muddiest section of the walk, but after about 400yards we took a path to the right and crossed the footbridge into Sheffield, the brook being the boundary with Derbyshire. We followed Totley Brook upstream for a short distance and had a coffee stop at a clearing at the waters edge.

                                                                                                                                                                                Continuing after the coffee stop we made our way up through Gillfield Wood and back into Derbyshire at the first footbridge. This path then continues up past the rear of the 17th century Woodthorpe Hall where we turned right onto Fanshawegate Lane. It was then a left turn into Holmesfield Park Wood and over the footbridge and up to the path alongside Birchin Lee (Pearsons) Farm.  We turned left at the busy main road to Dronfield Woodhouse and then back through the estate via Ox Close Lane to the Pentland Road shops just before 1.00pm. There were now some sunny intervals in the weather and fourteen of the party then went in the Jolly Farmer for some excellent food and a well earned drink. A good start to our walks in 2020.       

Graham’s pics:

Richard’s pics  :



Friday 27th December: Steve and Ros Sadler

For the last walk of 2019 we started from a Millthorpe – a change from previous years. The weather was dry and mild as 24 of us set off on a 4 mile walk mainly on footpaths via Unthank, Moorhall, Rumbling Street and back to Millthorpe. Conditions underfoot were very muddy in places but thankfully everyone managed to stay upright! A coffee stop at the halfway point refreshed us although the views towards Barlow and Chesterfield were a bit hazy and disappointing. Arriving back at Millthorpe the final task was cleaning our boots in the brook before returning to our cars. Lunch was then enjoyed by some at the Royal Oak followed by the traditional quiz by John Ellis. A great finish to an enjoyable walk despite the muddy bits! 


Tuesday 10th December: A Richard Armstrong walk.

Richard arrived at St Andrews, and by the sounds of him, was hoping that the assembed group of booted folks was going to chicken out, and head back home to watch Homes under the Hammer, or other such televised nonsense. Not the case: we , the 9 of us, headed off via Sindelfingen, TellyTubby land, Cartledge, via some very muddy patches, up the hills to Holmesfield where we stopped for a break. Reticence again set in, and he offered us the chance to take a short cut back to the start. He was met with no enthusiasm for this option, and had to lead us through the woods to arrive at Northen Common, across more fields and muddy tracks, even encountering a seesaw style, before walking along Gosforth fields, and back to St Andrews, some 5 and a half miles, and two and a half hours later. A really nice bracing walk, none of the expected rain, but just good company, with the walk broken by some interesting local snippets of info.

Saturday 16th November: “Not really a Pub Crawl Wellie Walk”

A dozen of us set out from the Big Lay  and headed off up Half Acre Lane, the first stop was to wonder at the New Unstone Sink Hole. We were thwarted by a sea of impassable mud near the International Airport, but managed to make our way eventually arriving at Troway, where some went to Ward’s Caff, and some of us to The Gate. After a break, we trekked along Sting and Scratch Alley, which was more like a motorway, to arrive via the muddy bridletrack at the Travs at Apperknowle. Following a nice lunch, we wandered back to our cars and home, a couple of us via the Drone Valley Brewery. Thanks to Graham for more pics, the ones with captions, and these words..”Fungi were Fairies Bonnets, Spotted Tough Shank and Candlesnuff” He didn’t mention the Iron Funghi he found on a tree trunk!

Oh, the bent nail on the post is the one I ripped my coat on…

Tuesday 12th November, words and pics by Kaz Brightmore

7 intrepid walkers set off after tea and tea cakes at the Wesleyan Church on a very wet morning. However as we started to walk the clouds parted and apart from a very small shower we walked in full sun!
We took the easier!! Route down Owler Carr Lane, which in places had been almost washed away. Crossed the new bridge( beneath us a raging torrent) and up to Povey Farm where we had a coffee stop. The farmer came out to see us to inform us that one of the bridges crossing the stream in the valley bottom had been washed away!
Onwards we went still keeping our boots relatively clean. Then made our way up to Hazelbarrow Farm. From then on it just got muddier but we all stayed upright eventually coming to our last bridge to cross. Said bridge had a notice… Bridge Damaged…do not cross! We all went individually and made it! Almost back, all in one piece if a little muddy! Adrian confirmed we had completed a (very enjoyable) 5.2 mile walk.


Tuesday 22 October saw the first of this winter’s breakfast rambles on a walk led by Peter.  After a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere enjoying hot drinks and toasted teacakes at Coal Aston Wesleyan Reform Church on Cross Lane we emerged outside.  Having devoured all the available teacakes 16 of us stepped out to enjoy a 5 mile walk in the upper reaches of the Moss Valley, in the initial stages taking a route east of the area forming the source of The Moss. The muddy fields ahead of us meant we had a bit of a workout, but with good skies, species of fungi and autumn colours to observe and the general chit chat to enjoy we all took it in our stride.The route took us passed the newly installed children’s playground at Birches Fold, into Nor Wood, across The Moss into Long Wood, onto  Hazelbarrow Farm, Wetlands, Lightwood Lane, Dowey Lumb, Bridle Road Wood, and Cook Spring Wood before taking the paths back to Coal Aston.An invigorating walk where you feel six inches taller as you progress, and as Joe reminded me 2 stone heavier (with the mud).

All in a good morning’s walk!


First walk of the Winter programme:

Saturday 19th October 2019       Ridgeway – West Mosborough – Eckington

Today saw the start of our Winter Warmer Walking Programme when a party of 24 met at The Swan pub in Ridgeway for a six mile circular walk in the Lower Moss Valley. Led by Graham Gill, we set out for Eckington under a lightly overcast sky on a path near Ridgeway School that takes you up to Haven Farms 1 & 2.                             From here it is generally downhill all the way to Eckington and we called briefly at The Mosborough Millenium Circle before continuing via Bridle Stile,Plumbley Lane, Cadman Wood and Ince Piece Wood.      It was a little muddy in places but not too bad in spite of a wet two weeks previous.   All the way down the sky was clearing and we arrived at the Church Farm Tea Garden in very pleasant sunshine. Jenny and her two waitresses (drafted in at short notice) did a great job serving us all with tea, coffee, cakes and scones and very nice it was too. After all paying and thanking them very much we set out on the return route which is flat at first through Twelve Acre Wood and Bowercinder Hill, then generally uphill back to Ridgeway. The sun was still shining and a few layers of clothing came off as we made our way back past Bushes Wood and Kent Wood to emerge on the main road and our starting point. Graham was thanked for a very  enjoyable walk in nice weather.  The walk was billed as “an opportunity for lunch” walk and 16 of us went in The Swan for some nice food and drinks.   A good start to the winter programme!

Final walk of the Summer Walks Programme on Tuesday 10th September led by Steve & Ros Sadler.

18 folk set off from the Farwater Lane Car Park behind Dronfield Civic Centre shops for a 5 mile walk on a fine sunny morning. Our route took us along part of the Lea Brook Valley before stopping to look at the recent work carried out to attract more wildlife to the wetland area. We continued through the houses to Sindelfingen Park and then on footpaths to Cowley Bar and on to Cartledge.

It was soon time for an early coffee break with exceptional views back to Dronfield and was that the Crooked Spire in the far distance?? Our return route was via Cowley Hall and Hills Farm back to the car park. An enjoyable morning’s walk on a fine day for the last of our Summer Walks.

Saturday 24th August

A merry band of 19 walkers left the Farwater Lane carpark at 10am on Saturday 24th August for a circular walk incorporating a large section of our adopted section of the round Dronfield walk.

The weather was grand if a little too warm towards the end. After some urban walking up to Pighills Lane we were then on to our section of the Round walk as far as Barnes Avenue where we made our way towards the Leabrook Valley via the sports fields.

Joe gave us a talk about the development and aspirations for the whole wetland area. Very interesting. They are always looking out for new volunteers to help keep this area a wild habitat for a large variety of Flora and Fauna.

Arrival back at Farwater Lane was about 12-45!

Report and pic thanks to Karen Brightmore

Thursday 15th August: The last Evening walk of the Summer season, and a record 44 walkers took part in the short(ish) walk before our social evening at the Travs at Apperknowle. Bridlepath near the Travs, along towards Troway, turning left alongside Apperknowle International Airport, Summerley Back lane, returning to the Travs for a rehydration session. Well organised by Jane Smith, we were also treated to a John Ellis quiz, which went down very well with the excellent food, company, pies and ale!

Thursday 8th August, our penultimate Thursday evening walk ( where does time go !)

32 people set out from Sheepbridge to walk the Peak Resort, led by Jane( this was her first time as a walk leader )
We walked the route in a clockwise direction, getting the most strenuous section done first, through beautiful woodlands and enjoying lovely views on the descent.
It was a beautiful evening. Not too many midges, lovely views, great company and a bit of  “balsam bashing” along the way!
As always it is so nice to have “new faces” join us .
Jane Smith

Tuesday 6th August: a Peter Carr walk, starting from Barlow Village Hall.

great walk,6 miles, 21 walkers, inc new members and visitors,  through beer and bread fields, tater fields, by reservoirs, saw cows, sheep, a huge buzzard, and nearly a woodpecker!


Thursday 18th July: an Angela Land walk.

Report and pics by Angela..

This is what we got up to on our Thursday evening walk on 18th July 2019.

I had a quick check to see if the forbidden footbridge of footpath seventeen was safe to use, then went over to the Fred Hopkinson Memorial Hall to meet our group of walkers. The weather was fine, it was sunny and clear without being too hot, just right for the eighteen of us who set off shortly after 7pm

We walked along the track towards Ramshaw Lodge, crossed the forbidden footbridge of path seventeen and walked up the hill towards the Miners Arms. It was a close thing but everyone managed to resist the urge to call in for refreshment and we went along the bridle path to get to our first wood, Stubbing. It’s lovely at any time of year, but perhaps at its best in May when the bluebells are out.

After that we visited West Handley and had our tea break on a patch of grass by the entrance of a field. From there we had fantastic views over Chesterfield and beyond, with Bolsover Castle standing out particularly well. After our break we walked along the sides of fields of wheat and barley, which we decided were actually fields of bread and beer, to get to our second wood, Binkley. It’s small but beautiful, with a stream at the bottom and an impressive set of stone steps to climb out of the wood.

Onwards to Slag Lane, Long Lane and over to Spring Wood which at times doubles as a 4×4 play area, and through a field to get to Grasscroft Wood. This wood has an industrial past, with bell mines hidden in the undergrowth. The path through this wood took us to Windmill Lane, which we crossed to walk downhill to Ramshaw Wood. We once more used footpath seventeen to return to our starting point. There I counted our group and found that we had exactly the same number as we had started with. I might have been spotted doing a little victory dance, having lost so many on my previous walk.

The paths were really good, we didn’t have to battle through nettles or brambles. There were mysterious orange arrows painted on the ground at various points. I suspect that those who set up the orange arrow route had cut down the vegetation that can make the paths a bit challenging.

Thanks to all who shared my walk, it was a lovely evening. We must do it again sometime.

Some photos of the forbidden footbridge, a mysterious orange arrow, and walkers in woods and a beer field. Sorry about the quality, some are fuzzy, I am not good at photos.

Saturday 13th July: a ‘Not Really a Pub Crawl’ walk

Led by Richard S. He leads these walks because it gets him to the pub(s) first, and by the time the rest of the group get there, he is halfway down his first pint! 15 started from the Big Lay by, to stop fairly soon at the Drone Valley Brewery. We drank tea and coffee, ate chocolate biscuits, while Bernard Addy told us about the history of the brewery, and its benefits to the community. We walked on, and up, and up a bit more up until we summited at Apperknowle International Airfield, then downhill, along to the first stop at The Gate Inn, Troway. A nice welcome from Andy, nice choice of ales, and a welcome sit in the garden. Battling on, the leaders thought they had lost most of the walkers, but soon saw them battling through the overgrown undergrowth to reappear on the Eckington Road, near the Inn at Troway (RIP) A steady walk along the bridlepath to Apperknowle, and a welcome pint, pie and cheese lunch taken with superb views over the surrounding countryside. Downwards now, via a quickb chat at the Apperknowle Well Dressing, to walk along the old tramway, to return to the Brewerey, for a swift rehydration session. All too soon, the session finished, and we all wended our way to our respective homes. A good day out.


Saturday 29th walk: from Ridgeway

A Graham Gill walk, with slight variations. Starting from near The Swan, we wandered through the churchyard only to find the exit gate firmly shut. Wandering back out the way we came, and further down the road, turned right, on a footpath that would take us to the ford at Sloade Lane. Going past the gate from the other side, temptation proved too much, and a strong push opened it! We carried on, up the lane, across the fields to the first water stop at Geer Lane. Along the Moss Valley trail, and a very welcome coffee and cake stop at Eckington’s Church Farm tea room. This meant that the return journey would be uphill, but Graham assured us ‘It won’t be steep.’ I walked a lot of the way with Graham, and he always points out and names the interesting butterflies, moths, birds and plants. I just wish I could remember even half of them! So, starting out with 19 walkers, losing 2 to the bus home at Eckington, 4 more to a taxi at Plumley, the rest of us managed the 7 miles on what must have been the hottest day of the year! Some lunched at The Swan, a great place to finish a walk.



Thursday 27th walk: ‘Joe’s Walk’

And it seemed, the height of summer, a nice sunny evening to take part in a Graham Gill 4 miler, nicknamed ‘Joe’s Walk’ Starting out at the Big Layby, a short stroll before crossing the road to wander past Unstone Hall, when we spotted the White Horse of Unstone, and up to Ouzle Bank, delightful views over Chesterfield, Hardwick Hall, Bolsover Castle… across the field to join the circular Peak Resort bridlepath, where we walked downhill to Unstone, and had a welcome stop for a sit on the rocks and a sip of H20. Crossing the road, across a field containing wild orchids. Well, you would be wild if folks kept stopping to take photos of you every 5 minutes! Along the banks of the Mighty Drone, under the viaduct and up to the Old Unstone Line. This area is haunted by trains, as every so often, you get the imporession a train is passing close by. Down the field and across the soon-to-be-closed-because-of-bridge-repairs path, over the playing field, board walk, and back to the Big Layby. Thanks Graham…

Thursday 20 June walk

18 members enjoyed a lovely sunny evening walk. About 4.5 miles from Coal Aston village hall via Firth Wood, Metapic Wood and Summerly. Lead by Jeannie and Adrian

* Hmmm, Firth Wood! Chatting to my (Welsh) brother in law, he told me the Welsh word ‘Ffridd’ means ‘Open Space’. RLS


Monday 17th June, postponed from Tuesday 11th


Just four members –Joe Kelsall, Richard Armstrong, Eileen and Graham Gill – turned up for this walk which was rearranged from the previous Tuesday due to heavy rain. The weather forecast for the day was a bit mixed but it turned out to be fine, which made for a very enjoyable walk. Starting off down Halfacre Lane we then picked up the Unstone Line near the site of the former Summerley Colliery. On reaching the Unstone end, Joe decided on a detour due to reports of a temporary path closure near Ramshaw Lodge. We turned left and walked along Crow Lane to the junction with Hundall Lane where we then took the path alongside Top Stony Field. We then turned right past Woodsmithies Farm to rejoin our route at Ramshaw Wood, then down and under the railway viaduct following the River Drone to Unstone Green. As we crossed the field at the side of the Horse & Jockey we saw a lovely display of wild orchids with both Southern Marsh and Common Spotted varieties. A coffee stop was taken at the entrance to the Peak Resort site before we set off clockwise around the perimeter path. Graham then pointed out a Green Helleborine, another type of quite rare orchid at the side of the path. As we continued round a Buzzard was seen circling alongside the Dronfield Bypass. It was then up and over the climb through the wood, and then left to Ouzlebank Cottage where there were great views of the Crooked Spire, Bolsover Castle and a distant Hardwick Hall. Dropping down the fields towards Unstone Hall we saw several Swifts and House Martins collecting insects over the crop fields and hay meadows. A lovely sight! We also got a great view of a Yellowhammer posing on a hedgerow as we dropped down. It was then past the Hall and down the lane to the main road and left back up to the lay-by. It was a pity more members weren’t able to make this very pleasant walk – they missed a good one, with all the recent rain. Apologies for the lack of photos – Graham forgot his camera – Dohhh!

Thursday 13th June: from (and to) Millthorpe: a David Blackburn walk.

This walk was ‘just’ a 3.5 mile walk, but billed as ‘muddy’ ‘need wellies’ ‘need overtrousers’ but 6 of us set off quite merrily following David across streams, fields, through woods, more streams, more fields…calling in at places like Johnnygate, Rumbling Street…a great walk, where 5 of us said our goodbyes at the pub in Millthorpe a couple of hours later.

Thursday 30th May 2019: a Chris Turk ‘learning’ walk.
Starting from the Coal Aston village hall car park, 32 walkers, many of whom were visitors to the group. We hope we made you all welcome, and hope you will join us as members…
We went 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!

Indicator Species
Big trees on boundary (inner ones used up!)
Laid hedges
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
Hedge woundwort
Whych Elm
Wood Anemone
Yellow Archangel
Dogs mercury in acid soil (it is prolific in lime)
Herb Paris

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

The Dawn Chorus Walk, Sunday 11th May.

Eight DFBS members met up with our three birders ( Brian, Charles  and Malcolm ) from the Dronfield Natural History Society at 4.30am for this year’s Dawn Chorus at Blackamoor Nature Reserve. The small car park there is at the side of Hathersage Road near Fox House, close to the junction with Stoney Ridge Road.                                                                                      The sky was starting to get light as we started out through the woodland area and as we were walking through, the first of the birds were singing  –  Blackbird, Robin, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and  Wren were the first to be heard and then Great Tit, Song Thrush, Willow Warbler, Dunnock and Whitethroat were added to the list.  Further away a Pheasant was calling and as we continued a Curlew flew over.  As we emerged into more open ground, there were small patches of ground frost, but by this time the sun was coming up and was a red ball on the horizon.  We dropped down right, through Blacka Moor and Blacka Plantation and were glad to become more sheltered from a gentle but cool breeze that had started. At least two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard as we descended.   We came to Blacka Dyke and followed this for a few hundred yards, adding to our birds and flowers list as we went. It was here we came across our first mammal of the day – a rather bedraggled looking cuddly toy on top of a way marker post.                                                                                               We then turned right again and crossed the stream on the stepping stones, and began the steady climb up towards Lenny Hill where we stopped for a coffee break and could now feel the warmth of the sun. Whilst having our break we spotted three Red Deer on the track above us. They got to their feet and had a good long look at us before ambling off slowly into cover as we approached – a lovely sight! As we continued up towards Blacka Hill a Cuckoo was heard but we didn’t manage a sighting this year, but we did spot a Green Woodpecker and a Kestrel was hovering, looking for breakfast. As we came back out onto the moor we noted Garden Warbler, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Swallow, Skylark, Meadow Pipit and a Red Grouse was calling.   Walking back towards the car park in a grassy area on our right called Cowsick, we spotted another group of twelve Red Deer on the ground basking in the now very pleasant sunshine – and as a bonus the breeze had now dropped.Flowers noted on the walk were –  Dandelion, Crosswort, Daisy, Dog Violet, Wood Sorrel. Wild Strawberry, Bluebell, Germander Speedwell, Tormentil, Bilberry, Cowberry, Rowan, Cow Parsley, Sweet Violet, Greater Stitchwort, Creeping Buttercup, Golden Saxifrage, Yellow Archangel, Jack-by-the Hedge, Herb Robert, Meadow Buttercup, Crab Apple, Ramson and Common Vetch.  Just one fungus, Hoof or Tinder Fungus was noted.Back at the car park as we were getting our boots off a Curlew flew past calling, just like last year, and landed on a nearby wall. It was then a short drive to The Moorlands at Owler Bar for the ‘All you can eat Breakfast’ which we all decided we had earned, getting up so early.  And very nice it was too!!

Report by Brian Smithson and Graham Gill/ Pics by Richard S and Graham Gill (Graham’s have captions)



David Blackburn’s Walk, Tuesday 17th April:

21 of us set off for a 5.5 milewalk from Gorsey Brigg this morning. Almost immediately we paused in Sindlefingen Park and had a look at the European Union Tree Circle. This was planted in 1992 to celebrate European unity  following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty – how times have changed !!!. 12 trees were planted – one for each country in the EU at that time and the beacon was lit. On into Kitchen Wood , where the bluebells are coming into bloom

 Our route then took us over the field by the former Dronfield Woodhouse chapel, where we continued past the bright yellow field of daffodils – few of our group knew we had a commercial bulb grower locally. As we dropped  down the hill on our way to Woodthorpe, one of the group showed us the repaired gate and refurbished flight of steps he had helped with recently , as part of the small team  that’s caring for the Dronfield Barn Rotary Walk. Full marks for that team!

 Over the county boundary and into Gillfield Wood, where there were masses of white wood anemones- though bluebells hardly showing yet round there.  After a coffee break we climbed up the hill to Fanshawe Gate Hall, where substantial  renovation work on the ancient  cruck barn was in full swing. Then along the road and up to the edge of Holmesfield , over the fields to Cartledge and back to Dronfield.

Photos thanks to Graham Gill:


The final walk of the Winter Walks Programme: a Clive Waterhouse walk, from Carlisle Close, on a route via Old Whittington, West Handley and Hundall., on April 7th.

Photos courtesy of Jack Lau

Adrian’s Walk, Tuesday 12th March

Photos by Graham Gill

Joe Kelsall Walk, from Shillito Woods, Saturday 2nd March

Our walk Saturday morning 2 March found 26 hardy souls setting off from Shillito Woods car park for a bracing enjoyable walk in the winter sun. Crossing the road we went right along muddy paths through Ramsley Moor crossing the ancient Car Road then crossing the A621 Baslow Road onto Big Moor. We veered off right to find a well hidden stone circle Barbrook 3, returned to the path to traverse round to Barbrook 1 one of the best preserved stone circles in the Peak District before visiting the nearby Burial Mound and then partly restored Barnbrook 2.
Returning to the pathway we re-crossed the Baslow Road at a much lower point taking a path to Ramsley Reservoir exiting onto Fox Lane to return to Shillito Woods.
This was a walk encompassing historical sites that date back to 2000BC and possibly earlier.

Three more pics from Joe’s walk. What we first thought was poo near Circle no.3 was actually an owl pellet which Linda broke open to reveal the remains of a field vole. You could see a claw and it’s front teeth. She took them home to soak and investigate further. We might also mention the Adder at Circle no.2 ? A brilliant walk and well researched by Joe.

Richard Armstrong walk Tuesday  26th February.

photos from Graham Gill.

16 met at St Andrews in glorious sunny weather  –  the leader and his good lady wife were both wearing shorts  –  somewhat unusual for February.

We crossed Carr lane to go up Barnes Lane to meet the round Dronfield track towards Mickley and through the rather muddy farmyard.  We carried on to the path junction and then down the field to Holmesfield Park Wood. Through the wood to enjoy a warm and sunny coffee break in the Millenium garden  at Holmesfield. 

We stirred reluctantly from our seats to continue to Cartledge, over the fields to Ciowley Lane and back to St Andrews via Kitchen Wood.

Most enjoyable !!


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

Our Leader

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:


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!

On Saturday 18 August 2018 twelve of us plus Treacle, a well behaved black labrador met at Shillito Woods for a walk across the moorlands of Ramsley Moor and Big Moor.  Managed by the Eastern Moors partnership this moorland is a delight for those that enjoy open space, wildlife and a step back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age.  This is a place where you’re likely to hear the first cuckoo of the year, flora and fauna that changes with the seasons and the remains of stone circles and burial sites from over 4000 years ago.
The walk took us in an anti clockwise direction from Shillito Woods with the group enjoying the initial easy going downhill section chatting away as we met the bridleway at a stile near Smeekly.  For Treacle it was touch and go whether that was the end of her walk as the stile there was proving a little sticky as she found herself in a jam trying to get over it.  However, with some coaxing she found a way under the adjacent gate.  It was then a gradual uphill with the warm morning sunshine getting warmer in this sheltered spot as we passed Rowan, bilberry and blackberry bushes before meeting Baslow Road.
Directly across Baslow Road we had a brief refreshment stop alongside a Guide Stoop (Stone Waymarker) and a Companion Stone to try and decipher the prose, see companionstones.org.uk. for further information.  We then set off facing west with the prevailing wind in our face, noticing how the hawthorn trees on our right were leaning away from the prevailing wind after years of battling against the elements here.
Passing what once was the outflow of Barbrook reservoir we headed along the wide drive with the heather and varying shades of green grasses accompanying us.  We were a few hundred metres away from a very busy road but we couldn’t hear it, our senses were connecting with the natural world around us.  For some there was the discussion on the latest TV celebrity programme and the most recent health promotion.  However, if you want a place of solace you can find it here on your doorstep.
We stopped by a second companion stone and then deviated off the main path to locate a couple of stone circles and a long barrow.  Dating back to the Bronze Age, these and others in the proximity, provide the strongest example of the single site of stone circle sites in the UK in one area (quote from our member who has explored this area).  Stongehenge is important but so is Derbyshire!!
We then crossed Baslow Road for the second time to make our way along Ramsley Moor.  In this moorland long barrows and stone circles were exposed following excavations started in 1962.  Flint arrow-heads, flint scrapers, saws, flint and stone axes were found; a sign of Neolithic dwellers who once occupied this site.  Avoiding hairy caterpillars we walked along the green drive to Ramsley reservoir and then along the road to return to Shillito Woods passing Leash Fen on our right.  Some old prose associated with Leash Fen that connects it with Chesterfield and often quoted by our member Glyn Williams evaded me as I chatted with Jane on the road back to the car park.  However, it is here: 
“When Leash fen was a market town,
Chesterfield was gorse and broom,
Now Chesterfield’s a market town,
Leash Fen a marsh is grown”.
Evidence of how Leash Fen is being managed was seen as we looked across at the hardy cattle munching away on the land.
During the middle ages Beauchief Abbey were the principal land owners here which would account for the large number of crosses in the area.  Originally, they were boundary markers but later they also acted as a warning to travellers to keep clear of the dangerous marsh of Leash Fen!!  
Look out for the two crosses here if you return, one in Shillito Woods and the ancient cross adjacent to Fox Lane, a few hundred metres north of Shillito woods car park.
I sense a walk in the near future connecting us with Beauchief Abbey.

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…….

a Holly Blue butterfly.

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!

Indicator Species

Big trees on boundary (inner ones used up!)

Laid hedges

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

Hedge woundwort

Whych Elm

Wood Anemone

Yellow Archangel

Dogs mercury in acid soil (it is prolific in lime)

Herb Paris


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!


Graham’s pics:

old crossed sticks

old sticks (not cross)

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

 David Blackburn

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 March 3rd: Metapic Walk
10 legs took part, which sounds better that just three walkers plus dog. To be expected really, as the area was /is still feeling the effects of the Beast from the East. When we met at the Unstone Village Hall, we decided to make it a shorter route, and avoid the Summerly part, because of possible drifting, however after a very pleasant chatty walk from the Hall to Metapic, and through Frith Woods, the sound of lots of families enjoying stedgeing on the bank up to Summerley Heights kept us going. We all wished, and probably did Archie too, that we had bought sledges with us to join in the fun! A walk back along the lane to the bottom part of Apperknowle green was the chosen route instead of the cross field path to Half Acre Lane, then back home. Probably the 4 plus miles felt more like 6, but as Jane and I had walked the extra 1.5 miles from Unstone, we felt like we’d walked 9!
Walk Report – Tuesday 13th February 2018
On a damp cold morning 12 brave people set off for a 5 mile walk from St Andrews Church warmed by the hot drinks and toast provided at the church. Our route took us across Sindelfingen Park then onto footpaths to Cowley, Lees Common and up into Monk Wood with views across to Barlow. There were several quite muddy sections on the way but by now the rain had eased and the going underfoot was easier. We continued past Monkwood Farm and then followed Barlow Brook to Lee Bridge where we stopped for coffee. Our return route was via Gateland Lane, Barlow Lees and Cowley Hall emerging back at ‘Teletubby Hill’ from where it was only a short walk back to the car park. We all arrived back safely after an enjoyable walk despite the muddy conditions underfoot and the odd shower of rain! Steve Sadler

Saturday 3rd February 2018, a Brightmore Walk

There were 17 of us that set out on Saturday morning for a gentle stroll from Eckington to walk along parts of the Cuckoo Way and the Beighton-Staveley Trail. The weather was damp but not as bad as expected. Along the way Karen pointed out the small brick arched causeway on the edge of Renishaw golf course which was formerly a horse-drawn railway carrying coal from a local quarry to the canal. There were also sights along the way of the remains of the former Chesterfield canal which David Blackburn kindly brought us up to speed with the anticipated regeneration over the next few years.
We also criss crossed the old great central railway line passing the site of Renishaw station.


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.

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.

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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