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News Archive (March 2023)

Sunday 26 March


Sheldon, Taddington, Sough Top, Chelmorton, Flagg

Leaders: Terry & Eileen   Photos: Mike

17 out today on an 11.5 mile Monyash circular, combining nature with some industrial heritage at the
Magpie Mine.

Saturday 25 March

Derwent Edge

Back Tor, Lost Lad, Ladybower Reservoir

Leader: Barbara   Photos: Mel

The last Saturday outing of the winter programme ;

Heading for Back Tor

Heading down to Wellhead

Wednesday 22 March

By the River & along the Edges

Fox House, Yarncliffe Wood, River Derwent, Froggatt Edge

Leaders: Paul & Parul   Photo: Mel

Leaving Longshaw

White Edge

Robin Hood, Birchen Edge, White Edge, Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge, Baslow

Leader: Kay   Photos: David

An ‘Edge’ bus walk for ten from the Robin Hood, using the X70 Bakewell bus in its last week of service.
We briefly had 38 group members on Curbar Edge when we came across today’s car walkers.

The inscriptions on Companion Stones are becoming somewhat faint, although not everyone will get their message when they can be read.

Sunday 19 March


Hulme End, Manifold Trail, Dale Farm, Back of Ecton, Ecton Hill, Haysgate, Townend, Sheen

Leader & Photos: Mike

Ten walkers met at the duck pond in Hartington and set off in the direction of Hulme End and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
The weather was cool and a little breezy at the start, but did warm up for the rest of the walk and it remained dry.

Passing through the narrow pinch stile and footpath we entered the first of five fields on the way to Mill Lane. Recent snow and rain plus active livestock made this a muddy section. This was repeated in most field paths encountered during the walk.

After a quarter of a mile on the busy Mill Lane, the group picked up the footpath through the fields to Endon House to emerge via the campsite adjacent to the Manifold Hotel on the road to Hulme End.
A coffee break was taken at the Visitor Centre sited at the old Railway Station.
Following the Manifold Trail, on the path of the old narrow gauge railway, we walked a flat track for about two miles ; the fast flowing River Manifold was always close by.

On reaching Dale Farm, a National Trust property and working farm, the group proceeded up the green valley to reach the limestone rocky feature known as the ‘Sugar Loaf’.
A steep climb was made around this hill and the climb continued along footpaths to reach Broad Ecton Farm and Back of Ecton.
A diversion was made to reach the trig Point at Ecton Hill, the highest part of the walk at 1230ft.
On return, lunch was enjoyed with good views of Wetton Hill and Narrowdale Hill.

We descended down from the Back of Ecton to reach the lanes and footpaths towards Westside Mill and eventually picked up the Manifold Trail and visited the Visitor Centre at Hulme End. From here it was a walk along the lane to Haysgate ; then taking the footpath down to a footbridge over the River Manifold.
From here, a climb up through the fields to Townend and along the main road into the small hamlet of Sheen.

The route, now heading east towards Hartington, followed the footpaths through fields to reach Bridge End and dropped down towards Digmer Farm. Passing by the new housing development, we returned to the start at the Hartington duck pond.

A varied walk in the quieter parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands. Good views throughout and enjoyed by the group.

                Distance: 11.6 miles    Elevation: 1270 ft

Saturday 18 March

Plague, Ford & River

Eyam, Stoke Ford, Froggatt

Leader: Sue   Photos: Mel

Eyam Moor

along the Derwent Valley Way, heading for Grindleford

Sixteen walkers, including four visitors, set off from Stoney Middleton for a ten mile walk on an unexpectedly warm and sunny day.
After a steep climb up to Sir William Hill Road, the group was ready for a coffee stop and a chance to admire the view. Refreshed, we continued across Eyam Moor, where we were rewarded with more spectacular views and serenaded by skylarks.

After descending to Stoke Ford we continued along Highlow Brook, taking lunch just before Hazelford. From Leadmill Bridge, our route took us along the River Derwent to Grindleford and Froggatt. We looked out for dippers, but the river had filled up again after the recent snow and rain, and covered their favourite rocks, so we were unlucky. However, we did spot a goosander. In places, especially across farmland, the route was rather muddy and required careful negotiation. Nevertheless, the group seemed to enjoy the day and three newcomers said they would join us again.

Wednesday 15 March

Remember Damflask

Holdworth, Loxley Common, Wisewood, Hilltop

Leader: Isobel   Photo: Mel

Luckily the snow that fell at the end of the previous week had melted and the further fall predicted for Tuesday evening turned out to be negligible ; so it was easy to reach Low Bradfield for the start of the walk. The weather was dry and slightly overcast.

A group of fourteen started out across the playing field and on to Lamb Hill. The route then turned off left uphill over several fields crossing Loxley Road and winding through Cliffe House Farm.
From there it followed the Loxley valley east to Holdworth and then headed towards Low Ash Farm. Leaving the fields it descended through woodland to Loxley Common before crossing Loxley Road again.

The walk was then followed, first along the north bank of the Loxley and then the southern bank through Acorn Wood and back to the northern bank, turning away from the river and uphill at Rowell Bridge.
We then followed a succession of field paths from farm to farm.

Feeding time above Rowell Bridge

As most members know, the way to merit a good walk score from Mel is to include a stop for an ice cream. On this occasion the stop was for ‘Our Cow Molly’s’ ice cream at Hill Top.
Mel bought his ice cream ; the rest of us felt that it wasn’t really ice cream weather and he was beginning to enjoy it when he climbed over a stile and tragedy occurred – the ice cream failed to make it over the stile – although Mel fortunately did.

Undaunted we continued to Beacon Farm before descending to Damflask Reservoir via Hall Broom and along a concessionary path alongside Ughill Brook.
It was then an easy walk along the edge of the reservoir back to Low Bradfield.
Fortunately, the rain held off until the walk was over with only slight drizzle for the last section by the reservoir.

Distance 11.5 miles approximately.

Darley Abbey

Derby Midland, Little Chester

Leader: Jean   Photos: David

No rail strike today, so a trip to Derby Midland Station where someone was playing a piano – without Lang Lang in evidence – and a gentle stroll up the Derwent to Darley Abbey, with its Fish Pass and its hydrangeas.
Eight walkers, including one guest from Derby.

Saturday 11 March

On the Trail of Ancient Steam

Ashford in the Water, Monsal Head, Bakewell

Leader: Mel   Photos: Mel & Clare

Starting from Ashford in the Water, in brilliant winter sunshine with a bright blue sky, the Saturday group commenced with a walk through the fields adjoining Thornbridge Hall to reach the
Monsal Trail below Little Longstone.
The very busy trail was then used to reach the remains of Bakewell Station, followed by a short descent down Castle Hill to reach the River Wye for lunch.

Entertainment was kindly provided by the ducks, coots, and geese frantically searching for lunch in the fast flowing current.
After passing through Bakewell, the path running alongside the river was followed back to Ashford with a delightful encounter with Jemima Puddle Duck who obviously thought we were the equivalent of a pizza delivery service.
Fortunately Jill had saved a piece of pastry which was had fed to Jemima by Clare, a welcome visitor and hopefully future member. After the pastry was consumed, Jemima lost interest and so we moved on to the Aisseford tea room for leisurely tea and cakes to complete a very enjoyable day.

Wednesday 8 March

Avenue Washlands

Hasland, Corbriggs, Grassmoor Country Park, Tupton

Leader: Colin   Photos: David

Another local Avenue Washlands circular, this one of 7 miles, with 17 walkers – via Hasland and Grassmoor Country Park.
A fine start to the day ended with a little bit of March snow and sleet.

Sunday 5 March


Abbey Brook, Lost Lad, Back Tor, Derwent Edge, Lee Tor, Ladybower Reservoir

Leader & Photos: Mike

A cool, calm start with a sprinkle of fine snow welcomed a group of nine walkers ; the weather remained fine and dry throughout the walk.

We group met at the Fairholmes visitor centre and set off towards the dam wall of the Upper Derwent Reservoir. One of our party was a young man called Joseph from Staveley ; he was trying out the walk as a guest and we made him welcome.

After the steep ascent via the steps on the east side of the dam the group headed northwards along the track beside the reservoir to reach Abbey Tip Plantation. From here we followed the track above Abbey Brook and enjoyed good views of the adjacent Howden Moors and Gravy Clough as we stopped for coffee at Cogman Clough.

We continued on this track along Wild Moor Clough, eventually taking the right hand track at Sheepdog Clough to begin the steady ascent up to the cairn at Lost Lad ; many groups of other walkers being encountered on this section and along the Edge. From the highest point of the walk at Back Tor, we continued on the paved path along the Edge passing the well known rocky features of Cakes of Bread, Salt Cellar, and White Tor to arrive at the Wheel Stones.
We stopped here for lunch and took in the views across to Winhill Pike and Crook Hill.

Suitably refreshed there followed a descent along the stony path to reach Whinstone Lee Tor. Excellent views of Ladybower Reservoir and the Derwent Valley could be seen from this high point.
It was then the bridleway above Grainfoot Clough. This section of the walk all the way down to Grindle Clough is showing signs of soil erosion and deep rutting, caused by the constant cycle traffic. As a descent, it does not make for easy walking and in certain places is becoming hazardous.

The group emerged from Grindle Clough to pick up the track alongside Ladybower Reservoir and had a steady walk back to the visitor centre.

All enjoyed this varied walk with its high edges, valleys and watersides.

Distance: 11 miles     Elevation: 1460 ft

Saturday 4 March

Shillito Wood

Ramsley Reservoir, Big Moor, Totley Moss, Flask Edge, Saltersitch Bridge, Hewetts Bank

Leader & Photo: Mel

Top of Hewetts Bank

Leaving Shillito Wood car park the route started with a short walk along the road, looking out over Leash Fen, to reach the entrance to the now defunct Ramsley Reservoir.
After crossing the remains of the dam wall the path leading to the Owler Bar Baslow road was used to gain access to the south eastern side of Big Moor. The broad track curving past one of the stone circles and little Barbrook was used to reach Barbrook Reservoir for a brief coffee stop, with of course a chocolate coated chaser.
On then curving around the edge of the reservoir to cross the moor to Barbrook Bridge. Here we swung left to follow the path past Lady Cross to reach the viewpoint above White Edge Lodge where a small herd of red deer were observed browsing on the coarse grasses.
Swinging right, the path down to the junction of the Froggatt road was followed to allow access to the Longshaw area and the Moss road which was used to reach the Totley Tunnel air shaft for lunch.

Shortly after lunch, the Moss Road was abandoned for the path up to the trig point, part of the Holmesfield Boundary Walk, on Totley Moss.
Turning right the group now proceeded to Saltersitch Bridge and then re-crossed a corner of Big Moor to reach Greaves Piece. Following a gentle drop down to the Car Road a short walk allowed access to the path along the bottom of Hewetts Bank.
This gently climbing path was then used to return to the car park at Shillto Wood.

Wednesday 1 March

Mind Your Language

Hollingwood Hub, Nether Handley, Foxstone Dam, Eckington Marsh, Middle Handley, Hundall, New Whittington

Leader: Mel   Photos: Mel & Mike

24 members started out from the Hollingwood Hub on the Chesterfield Canal with a cheery smile from a boat load of children taking advantage of a ride in Madeline.
After a short section of road walking to reach Barrow Hill the group walked alongside the area of the old clay pit to reach Staveley Lane and shortly after the bridleway to White Lodge Farm and on to Foxstone Dam.
Here a coffee break was taken in bright sun shine before continuing on to reach the western edge of Eckington at Eckington Marsh. The short holloway known as Bolehill Lane was then used to reach Lightwood on the edge of Marsh Lane.
The path through Lightwood was taken to reach Middle Handley, followed by the cross field paths to arrive at Middle Handley for a pleasant lunch amongst the varied selection of wood carvings.

The alien

Before leaving, Tricia managed to sidle up to an alien for a quick photo shoot with Mike behind the camera.
Leaving the Handleys the route along the edge of Stubbing Wood was used to reach Hundall and then on to the Unstone communication masts.
A short stop was made to admire the view over Whittington, Brimington, and Chesterfield at the edge of Grasscroft wood before descending to Old Whittington.
After passing through New Whittington the group skirted the Brearley Wetland Nature Reserve to walk alongside the River Rother to Bilby Lane and on to Bilby Lane Bridge.
From here we followed the Canal side path to return to the Hub.