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News Archive (November 2016)

The Ramblers
Wednesday 30 November

Val led today’s ‘long bus’ walk ;

On a crisp cold morning 13 walkers including 2 prospective new members left Cromford Wharf where the ice was being broken around the canal barge getting prepared for Santa’s trips.
A brisk easy walk along the canal, trying to get warmed up, led to a climb up through the Lea Wood Nature Reserve passing Lea Hurst to arrive in Holloway.
Climbing higher via the steps above Holloway ensured that everyone was really warm for a walk along the ridge, with its great views across the valley enhanced by the winter sunshine.
Crossing the end of the tramway, we walked behind Crich Stand for a lunch stop and then descended to cross the valley at Whatstandwell.
Climbing up the other side of the valley we reached the Midshires Way and back through the woods to Cromford for buses back to Matlock and home.
A fairly strenuous walk of about 9 miles – someone did mention the Grand Old Duke of York !

Crich Tram Museum

Crich Tram Museum (not Blackpool)

Mike reports ;

A glorious autumn day, which improved as the day progressed, saw 19 and Lucy the Terrier, do a 12 mile circuit of the Stanage, Redmires and Moscar area.
Views that would rival anywhere were enjoyed for most of the walk.

Walks can highlight people as well as places.
Dawn’s circular began at the nature reserve in Bolsover named after Peter Fidler, the local man who made a name for himself exploring and mapping the Canadian wilderness in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
It followed the Stockley Trail to Bramley Vale before a lunch stop in Ault Hucknall, the resting place of Thomas Hobbes, the world famous founder of political philosophy.

A return to Bolsover via the Doe Lea.
24 in the group on a fine, crisp day to bring November to a close.

The Ramblers
Thursday 24 November

Innovative Christmas Tree

Innovative Christmas Tree

This week’s short morning walk began at the Crooked Spire with a quick tour of the Christmas Tree Festival before heading down past the Waterside site to the Chesterfield Canal for a four mile stroll to Nona’s Coffee Shop at the
Hollingwood Hub – via the Tapton Lock Visitor Centre.
Derbyshire walks don’t get much flatter than this.

All quiet on the Waterside

All quiet on the Waterside

Hollingwood or Istanbul ?

It’s only a morning walk

The Ramblers
Wednesday 23 November

Another venture to the south of the county for one of our two public transport groups.
A route from Duffield to Spondon via parts of the Centenary Way for ten walkers, led by Jean.

The full Centenary Way is currently being improved by Derbyshire Area Ramblers with new waymarking, furniture etc.
Basil and Mike plan to walk the full 22 mile route from Ilkeston to Ashbourne to do a survey and take photos for their route map.
The walk was set up by Derbyshire Footpaths Preservation Society for their Centenary but they are now unfortunately disbanded.

Planned cuts to subsidised bus services next year threaten to have a huge impact on those who live and work in the countryside, both in Derbyshire and elsewhere.
They also affect those (like ourselves) who access the countryside for leisure, tourism, and exercise.
Whilst some aspects of the bill such as the franchising powers which can be granted to councils may attract approval, it’s currently proposed to give some wider powers to city regions with an elected mayor – as opposed to rural areas like Derbyshire yet to be included in any devolution deal.

We have approached our local MPs on this.
Better transport are asking all to make their voice heard.

The Lords have passed an amendment to make the ‘wider powers’ available ‘everywhere.’ This now goes back to the Commons.
Whatever the outcome of the bill there is much lobbying needing to be done on the subject of rural buses.

Derbyshire County Council have now announced a reprieve for some subsidised bus services.

The Ramblers
Monday 21 November

A footpath is a highway, like any other. To raise its status perhaps local authorities need to incorporate rights of way with their highway departments ?
Warwickshire and Oxfordshire have a separate ROW category on ‘Fix My Street’ where problems can be filtered and seen publicly, away from reports of potholes.
Unfortunately most councils at present feel no need to report publicly on action taken and issues can disappear into a black hole.
Improvement on maintenance will not come without accountability.

Warwickshire Right of Way report

The Ramblers
Saturday 19 November

Kath writes about this month’s walk with the visually impaired ;

We set off from Crich Market Place heading for Crich Carr and then then on to Whatstandwell.
Following the Cromford Canal to Ambergate the route took us up to Hagg Farm and on to Bullbridge and Fritchley, where we had a tea and cake stop to celebrate the birthday of our leader, Keith – before returning to Crich.

We did getting on for eight miles, which is slightly longer than usual, but this was due to a fallen tree blocking a footpath, which led to us finding an alternative route.
Good job the weather was kind to us.

There were 19 of us and 4 guide dogs. The walk was led by Keith and his friend Adey.

The Ramblers
Friday 18 November



Early morning snow showers ended precisely at 10:00 to facilitate an invigorating, short circular walk of four miles in dry conditions from Stainsby Mill up over the fields to Astwith and then down to the Miller’s Pond on the Hardwick Estate.

Leader: David

The Ramblers
Wednesday 16 November

The Bradfield circular was very much a ‘rainbow’ walk, as during the morning a group of 24 followed it, with Isobel leading the way from Lower Bradfield, a village to the west of Sheffield.
The fine start soon developed into a strong gale with squally showers as the steady climb to White Lee Moor was followed.
A reservoir route as well as fine views of Agden, Broomhead, More Hall, and Damflask were seen during an above average hilly walk.
Much better weather in the afternoon after the rainbow had disappeared.

The Ramblers
Monday 14 November

The results of the Big Pathwatch are now with us and the problems can be added to the many that our group and others have been reporting over the years.
Will it lead to an improvement in the state of our rights of way, given that County Council budgets continue to be stringently cut ?
Some radical thinking on maintenance will be needed.

One of the priorities of the results report is to get footpath signage improved.
We’re all familiar with the comforting public footpath posts on our roads that point walkers in the right direction.
The problem however is that they are far from universal and are always subject to damage, decay, and vandalism.

Walking along Mill Lane near Stainsby it is not easy to spot footpath B1 37/1 amid the trees.
No problem when the Google Car passed this way photographing the road (above), because there was a fine upstanding sign.
No longer.
Assuming it was not hit by the Google Car, some other accident or act of vandalism has removed it.

Perhaps we need someone with a pot of paint who will place a sign on the road surface ?
Not only would it be difficult to damage, it would point the way for walkers – and additionally warn motorists that we may be around.
We’ve added a painted sign to the Google photo to give the general idea.

Just an idea. Any suggestions for rights of way improvement are welcome.

The Ramblers
Sunday 13 November

On a lovely autumn day with morning sun 15 ramblers walked a 10 mile circular from Shillito Wood car park (where National Trust volunteers were busy building a bird sanctuary with willow whips)
via Fanshawe Gate, Totley Moor and Ramsley reservoir.
Leader: Graham    Photos: John

The Ramblers
Saturday 12 November

David reports on today’s walk ;

Heavy rain overnight and early morning had given way to a drizzly spell for the early part of our walk, but we had not gone very far before it dried up giving us a dull but quite warm and pleasant day.
Just eight of us set of from Dronfield Civic Centre on the 9.5 mile walk around the Drone and Cordwell valleys.

Our route led us through Frith Wood to Summerley , then along the attractive ‘Unstone Line’ , where we looked at the sites of the many coal mines, coke ovens and railways in the area, all now hidden away in a rich woodland cloak.
Through Unstone we climbed up to Ouzle Bank and admired the view. On through Monk Wood – where there is still plenty of autumn colour in the leaves.
We had a pleasant lunch stop above Barlow Fishponds before climbing through more woodland, up Brindwoodgate, and then across to Cowley.
We then returned to Dronfield along the route of the North Chesterfield Way.

The Ramblers
Friday 4 November

Autumn in Chatsworth Park

Autumn in Chatsworth Park

The latest of the short walks on a fine autumn day saw a group of seven, led by David, take the bus to Pilsley, near Chatsworth and follow a four mile route to Baslow.
A slight climb out of Pilsley followed by a drop to Edensor and Chatsworth House.
Lunch was at the House and the return home was on the 1:25 pm bus from Baslow to Chesterfield.
A cloudy start but warm sunshine by lunchtime.

The Ramblers
Wednesday 2 November

A circuit of the Hallam Moors for 24, led by Rhona and Gavin on a fine November day.
From the Dennis Knoll car park the route was via the new
Stanage Pole, Redmires Reservoir, Head Stone, and High Neb, concluding with a descent along Long Causeway.
Glorious autumn colours yet again.

The November sun hidden by smoke on the Hallam Moors

The November sun hidden by smoke on the Hallam Moors

Returning from High Neb (photo by Mel)

Returning from High Neb (photo by Mel)

A Bakewell circular for bus walkers.
11 miles on a beautiful day via Stanton in the Peak, Rowsley, and Calton Lees.
A group of 13 under the guidance of Basil.