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The Ramblers
Wednesday 14 March

A Lathkill Wander

Leaders: John & Bob     Photos: Mel

Hard to avoid mud this winter

Ashover was a crowded place at 10:00 this morning as both 28 of our group and a goodly number of Amber Valley group arrived to do separate walks.

Malcolm led our party on an anti-clockwise circular route via Overton Hall, Milltown, and Woolley for a lunch stop overlooking Ogston Reservoir.

The afternoon return was through Woolley Moor.

The Ramblers
Wednesday 7 March

A report by John on a local bus-free walk ;

Eighteen ‘long bus’ walkers enjoyed lunch at the side of the
Chesterfield Canal at Staveley in the ‘spring’ sunshine.
The route had begun at Chesterfield Railway Station and headed out via Tapton Golf Course (the Trans Peak Trail) and Tapton Grange, Brimington Common, Westwood, Ringwood Hall, Hollingwood Hub, Barrow Hill and through the old Staveley Works site to the canal.
Refreshed, the group returned along the Canal back to the Railway Station at Chesterfield – an enjoyable ten mile figure-of-eight walk after the restrictions of the previous week’s snow.

A bridge in Bradford Dale       Photo: Mel

  Lorraine led the ‘long car’ walk ;

Despite the anticipation of a very wet and muddy walk, 18 brave members set off from Elton.
Making our way over fields past Tomlinson Wood towards Hopping Farm and Alport we were pleasantly surprised at how clean we were – the overnight frost & morning sunshine playing a helping hand – plus the many snowdrifts offering a boot cleaning service.
From Alport we made a short ascent to join the paths overlooking the River Lathkill, heading across to Over Haddon, where we sat on the hillside for a spot of lunch.
The afternoon’s route via Bradford Dale, Lowfields Farm and Anthony Hill was to take us past 6 of the 17 Sites of Meaning – a millennium project of Middleton and Smerrill marking the 17 entrances to its parish with boundary stones, each inscribed with a text.
A total of 11.5 miles.

At the sheep dip in Bradford Dale

The Ramblers
Wednesday 28 February

Testing conditions today in North Derbyshire.
Group Secretary, John led our only walk of the day ;

With temperatures of -6.5C six members braved the inclement weather to walk along Froggatt and Curbar Edges.
At times it was a white out – but as ever Derbyshire was very picturesque.
The only thing we didn’t do was pop into the pub for a warm.

Chatsworth deer

Photo by Ann

The Ramblers
Saturday 24 February

Mike with his best Bart Simpson head on

When the Atlantic weather gets shut off we at least get some bright days.

David writes ;

Today’s walk started at Dronfield Sports Centre and we were pleased to welcome two new walkers to our group of eleven.
Our route took in a good length of the Dronfield Barn Rotary Walk.
This walk has been maintained by members
of the Rotary Club for over 25 years.
They have now retired and responsibility has passed to the Dronfield Hall Barn, where a new team of path inspectors and a small group who carry out minor repairs are now out and about along the popular 14.5 mile route.
Another team is busy producing an up to date guide to the route, which will hopefully be on sale around Easter time (be different – buy a book not an egg !)
We walked to Frith Wood and on to the quirky Metapic Wood, where we had coffee and flapjack amidst the snowdrops and amusing artefacts in the wood.
It was then up the hill to Ouzle Bank Farm – our journey made more tiring thanks to a large ploughed field that had not been restored by the farmer.

David & Mel hole in two

Then into Monk Wood and uphill again to Cartledge Hall – and back to Dronfield through Kitchen Wood.
On the way, the challenge was to see from how many locations we could identify the area’s newest landmark – the ‘Big Wheel’, several miles away in Chesterfield.
It was a cold but sunny day – unbroken sun in a cloudless sky throughout our walk.
Some mud of course, but a few dry and breezy days recently meant conditions underfoot were generally quite good.

At Metapic Wood

The Ramblers
Wednesday 21 February

John led a group of 13 bus walkers on a ten mile route from Heath ;

We followed the footpaths across the fields to Astwith, from where we headed down to the Park Centre on the Hardwick Estate.
After a short break, it was a climb up to Hardwick Hall to join Lady Spencer’s Walk through the woods to the old mining railway tracks on the Treversal Trail.
Now in Nottinghamshire, we stopped at the Teversal Visitors Centre for lunch.
Suitably refreshed we took the link path towards Skegby and then onto the Skegby Trail – until we crossed back into Derbyshire and switched onto the Rowthorne Trail back to Rowthorne.
A finish in Glapwell for the bus back to Chesterfield.

Lunch at the Needle’s Eye – just above Elsecar and Wentworth
(A sort of Yorkshire equivalent to Nottinghamshire’s Greendale Oak ?)

Leaders: Pauline & Clive          Photos: Mel          

The Ramblers
Tuesday 20 February

More action today from the volunteer maintenance team, reported by Mel ;

A clear-up of the extensive growth impeding the path through Upper Loads, part of the Chesterfield Round Walk
Additionally the group realigned the path to the correct line and at the same time provided a stone surfaced section – removing the need to walk through the now deep mud as you leave or enter the enclosed section of the path.
All work was carried out with the agreement of the landowner, who was on site at the time, using tools and transport provided by the County Council Countryside Services.
The landowner kindly provided the stone for the surfacing part of the project.

The Ramblers
Saturday 17 February

Kath reports on the monthly walk with the visually impaired ;

We had a turn out of 15 which included six visually impaired and four guide dogs.
A very pleasant but rather sludgy five miles from the centre of Eckington.
The route took us down by the church, then up to Windmill Road, and eventually over the fields to the River Rother.
The return was via the Trans Pennine Trail
Kay did the leading.

Rights of way in urban / semi-urban areas are far from a comprehensive network.
(Open Street Map / Rowmaps data – recorded rights of way footpaths in red)

The Ramblers
Tuesday 13 February

As walkers know, it’s impossible to avoid winter mud – but rights of way infrastructure makes it easier.
Weekly maintenance jobs with a Countryside Ranger ceased last winter due to Derbyshire County Council budget cuts, but our volunteers are trying to compensate a bit with independent working to make our valuable rights of way navigable.
Extra help always welcome.

A few February photos from the team ;

The Ramblers
Wednesday 14 February

A South Yorkshire border walk, led by Chris today ;

16 walkers gathered at Wales Church with a frost in the air and bright sunshine – but with rain forecast for 1 pm we didn’t hang about.
On the way to Harthill we took the path over Kiveton pit tip to see the striking steel sculpture of a
pit pony pulling a coal tub ; the 360 degree panorama was a bonus.
We carried on to Harthill Ponds for coffee and then walked on towards Barlborough where the Hall made an imposing sight through the trees.
Following the path down under the motorway we then turned north.
The wind was getting up, but fortunately it was on our backs so it made progress easier.
We had a quick lunch in the shelter of the woods at Upperthorpe and then kept up the pace through Killamarsh to Rother Valley ; then along the Cuckoo Way back to Wales.
The forecast heavy rain never materialised and we had a great walk without the anticipated soaking.

The Ramblers
Thursday 8 February

Valentine’s Day attractions on the Chesterfield Canal this year again involves a slow boat to Staveley.
Basil however led 12 on a more energetic five mile canal walk to Staveley from Chesterfield Railway Station as part of our ‘step’ programme.
These walks are geared to the membership who welcome a more relaxed ramble, as well as any Walking for Health participants who want to move on to something slightly more energetic.

The Ramblers
Wednesday 7 February

Val writes about the ‘long’ bus walk ;

Nine members took a walk in the Amber valley roughly following the river Amber from Ogston Reservoir towards Ambergate and the Derwent on a bright sunny day.
A heavy frost made the walking easier but it was still necessary to take some detours to avoid mud and flooded fields.
The sixth crossing of the river (and railway) took us to Sawmills and a short walk along the dry section of the Cromford Canal, where volunteers were doing a good job of clearing vegetation, to Bullbridge, and a bus back to Ripley.
More potential to explore in that area sometime?

A cold, bright February day (like we used to have ?)       Leader: Graham    Photos: John

On a sunny winter’s day with a light dusting of snow, 23 walkers set off on a
10 mile circular walk from Fox House down to Padley Gorge, on to Millstone Edge,
Higger Tor.
The views over to the Mam Tor ridge and Kinder were superb.

A new member of the group joined us and Mike may have a new footpath maintenance volunteer ?

       …. and more photos from Mel

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