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The Medium Walking Group

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Monday 11th April 2022. Ticknall Tramway and Calke Park, led by Alison

Photos by Alison
The group set off from Ticknall Village Hall car park 10.00am on a fine morning. There were 11 of us and we joined the tramway just inside Calke grounds. Underfoot was very good with non of the dreaded gooey stuff called mud. The Estate workers had been very thoughtful by felling some trees for us to sit on for our pit stop half way through the walk - much appreciated - but shame for the trees. Just under 6 miles later we arrived back at the car park at about 12.30pm.

Monday 14th March 2022. Moira Furnace to Gresley, led by Iain

Photos by Iain
Twelve individuals set off on a lovely sunny March day, including two new members to the group. All went very well until passing through Swainspark and Gresley Woods, when we found not one, but two, footpaths closed off, disrupting our route plan. Unfortunately, our attempt at a diversion resulted in extending the walk distance, combined with some wet and muddy paths in our way. Fortunately, we were able to escape, to continue alongside Albert Village Lake to Conkers and then along the canal to Moira Furnace, our starting point.

Monday 14th February 2022. Ravenstone, Sence Valley and Kelham, led by Val

Photos by Alison
On a dismal damp February morning 10 hardy walkers turned up in Ravenstone.

The walk took us out of the village and across the fields to the outskirts of Sence Park, and then on to Kelham nature reserve where we took the higher path to try to avoid some of the mud. At Donnington le Heath we turned back toward Ravenstone and followed the track passing the tiny church of Snibston.

Having arrived back at the finish we were all lucky that the threatened rain had only been light showers

Monday 10th January 2022. Bradgate and Swithland, led by Alison

Photos by Alison
The 1st walk of the New Year was met by a dry but overcast weather forecast, which proved to be very accurate. 10 of us set off from the Hunts Hill Car Park end of Bradgate Park and walked to Woodhouse Eaves via Newtown Plantation and Lingdale Golf Course. Then into Swithland Wood, up the bridal path into Bradgate Park with fine views of Old John. 5 miles. The walk leader had said something rash about 'not much mud', but in her defence she is an optimist and possibly not a very good judge of acceptable mud levels. No losses en route and all 10 of us made it back to the cars 2 hours later.

Monday 13th December 2021. Staunton Harold and Calke, led by Mike

Photos by Val & Anne
With our planned leader, Carole, not feeling well, Mike took over leading our traditional Christmas walk. Not that it needing much leading as everyone knew the way!

From the Ferrers Arms across the fields to the driveway to Staunton Harold and then along the lake and up on to the hill overlooking the house where we took a group photo. On to Dimminsdale CP and up the road to Calke Abbey. From the dip in the driveway by the house we turned left along the valley to pick up the tramway trail back to the entrance to Staunton Harold. Up the driveway, past the house and then along the green lane back to the pub. Exactly 6 miles in 2h30.

7 of us sat down to eat, as is now traditional in December, but unfortunately without Carole nor Alison and Gary who were away. Sorry you couldn't be with us and thank you for all the work you have done for the group this year.

Monday 8th November 2021. Jubilee Woods, led by Alison

Photos by Alison
The group assembled in the car park at the QE Diamond Jubilee Park and, as ordered by the leader and promised by the weathermen, the weather was perfect - clear, dry and sunny. 11 of us set off which included 2 new members to the group - who we hope to see also in the future. The walk was just over 5 miles. Through the park to Ravenstone, down the lane towards Heather for a short stretch and across the fields to Sence Valley Forest Park, back to the car park via Ibstock.

Monday 11th October 2021. Moira Furnace, led by Alison

Photos by Alison
12 of us set off on a very pleasant morning from Moira Furnace. We welcomed a new member to our group - Stephen - and hope to see him again. The walk took the Newfield incline to Hicks Lodge, skirted the lake and on to Willesley Wood, Oakthorpe and back to Moira via the canal path from Donisthorpe Woodland Park. 5 miles.

Monday 13th September 2021. Packington round, led by Barry

Six members joined the leader to complete this walk. The weather was pleasant with sunshine. The going was good throughout, with a mixture of fields and paved roads.

We set off from Normandy Wood in a South Westerly direction until we crossed the driveway for Champney Springs. Passing through a small copse we reached Gallows Lane, which we crossed to enter the fields on the other side. The grassy fields were uneven, with patches of weeds, mainly thistles. Ignoring the sheep we turned along Grassy Lane and made our way back to Gallows Lane. Crossing over again we went Eastwards in the direction of Measham Hall Farm and then through the solar farm. Turning North we entered Babelake Street and walked up to Packington. Walking along to the church, we entered Vicarage Lane and went past the sewage pumping station in a loop back to Mill Street. Passing the three tame cows to eventually re-enter Babelake Street and then taking the footpath on the right towards Measham Road and then back to Normandy Wood.

The walk was 5.4 miles and took 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Monday 9th August 2021. Breedon and Cloud Trail, led by Trev & Val

Photos by Val and John
10 enthusiastic walkers started from Breedon Green, on what was then a lovely morning. We headed out through the village towards the Cloud Trail, after crossing the Trail we continued to Tonge via several fields. Unfortunately by now it had started to rain but luckily it was a short shower. At Tonge we rejoined the Cloud Trail following it to Wilson, where we walked up the lane and fields to the golf course. We turned back towards Breedon along the grassy paths across the golf course, arriving back at the Green having taken 2 hours and travelled 5miles.

Monday 12th July 2021. Packington round, led by Mary Weeks

Photos by Carole & John
We had a cloudy start to our walk this morning, departing from Packington Playing Field car park, with seven walkers for this, our second walk of the restarted season! Thank you all for coming as I am a novice leader and was really pleased so many of you turned up.

The walk went down Babelake Street and we turned left over the stile through a field of sheep, over Gilwiskaw Brook , through Plummers Wood and up through the tree lined ransom strip onto Redburrow Lane. At the top of the lane as it bears to the left we climbed over the stile at the tumbled down brick building known as Tie Barn - bit of work needed there for anyone interested in a project!!!

After crossing a few fields with sheep grazing peacefully we arrived at the top end of Babelake Street by the solar panel farm and at the back of Champney Springs Health Spa. A quick stop for coffee here having done 2.25 miles in approximately one hour then back to the bottom of the lane.

Three of us peeled off at this point. I had mistakenly put the boots on that I had put through the washing machine so my feet were feeling a bit pinched after just over three miles, as they had definitely shrunk but, no doubt will be better next time.....!!

Four of our walkers continued on to do loop two up Mill Street. Report continued by Mike:

"We should have turned left at the stone lions but missed it and so walked on to Ashby Road, bore left and left again to enter the field which borders the A42. Diagonally across the field brought us to a lane which brought us back down past the church yard to return to the parked cars. An extra 1.25M"

The weather was kind to us and it was a very pleasant walking temperature.

Monday 14th June 2021. Dimminsdale and Calke, led by Carole

Photos by Carole
Three of us met for the first medium walk since February 2019. We parked at the Dimminsdale car park and walked up the steps and into Staunton Harold estate. Then down the drive and joined the Tramway trail and walked through the two bridges and onto Calke Explore, stopping there for drink break. Then continuing on the trail and crossing the road into Dimminsdale Woods and back to our cars. A total of 5.75 miles walked, in warm sunshine and a gentle breeze, just right for walking. A great walk, and nice to be back to some form of normality. Looking forward to our next walk which is being led by Mary from Packington Playing fields car park on Monday July 12th.

Monday 9th March 2020. Calke Abbey grounds, led by Jane

Photos by JD
9 walkers met at the round car park adjacent to Calke village, which has now reverted back to a free car park, on a sunny if cool and breezy morning. We saw the welcome return of Val and Trevor after their far flung travels. The 4 mile walk took us round part of the reservoir, over the weir and past the deer park. There were some deer visible but they were all having a rest and lying down. We then entered the 'Bluebell' wood where the bluebell leaves were apparent but too early for any flowers. It is worth going again later in the Spring to see them. After leaving the woodland we descended down to a track and onto the new development in the grounds, Calke Explore, where we had a coffee stop. A pleasant place to stop with plenty of seats and toilets and at weekends and busy summer days the café is open. It was then into another woodland which eventually bought us to Calke Abbey church and thence along the road, out of the park and back down the lane to the cars. Not too much mud encountered by the current standards!

Monday 10th February 2020. Wilson, Breedon and Cloud Trail, led by Alison

Photos by JD
Storm Ciara could have deterred us but 8 hardy souls set off from Wilson despite the effects of Mother Nature. In fact the weather for our brief window in the morning was good. Our leader had promised just a small section of mud and repeated this assertion more than once - she was proved wrong!!

Leaving Wilson along a very muddy track to the Breedon Golf Course (no players but a good view of Breedon Church sitting proudly on its rocky tor), through Breedon Village to join the Cloud Trail alongside the A42 and back to Wilson. We arrived back at our cars at 12.10 having completed 5.3 miles. We were just in time as the rain came about 5 minutes later.

Monday 13th January 2020. Lount to Dimminsdale, led by Carole

Photos by JD & JH
Our January walk started from The Ferrers pub at Lount with 7 walkers. We walked through the houses in Lount onto the pathway towards Staunton Harold. This was quite muddy, leading eventually to the roadway into Staunton Harold. We then walked down the drive way and turned right towards Dimminsdale Woods, again very muddy in the fields. The snowdrops were not out yet. The March walk is planned to be around Dimminsdale, so hopefully we will see them then. We continued over the reservoir towards the carpark and up the muddy steps to the open fields. Then following the wall to Staunton Harold Hall and that magnificent view. We opted for the roadway back to Lount, to avoid any more mud, arriving at the pub at 12.10. A nice 4.5 mile walk on a January day. We then met Jane, Heather and Fred at the pub for a New Year Meal.

Monday 11th November 2019. Sutton Cheney wharf to Bosworth Field, led by Alison

Photos by JD
Heavy rain on the preceding days and on the morning of the walk deterred some but 4 hardy souls turned up and by the 10 am start the rain had stopped. I wouldn't say that the sun was shining on the righteous but, at least, the weather wasn't trying to drown us. The plan was to follow the path into Ambion Wood from the wharf however our route was cruelly compromised by severe flooding not long after leaving the wharf. The 2 ladies present thought the 2 men might have given us a piggy-back but it wasn't to be! So we changed course and did a linear walk instead of circular along the tow path to Shenton train station onto the Battlefield Visitor Centre where we re-enacted the Battle of Bosworth Field - this time with Richard winning! We returned to the car park the way we came. 4 miles completed.

Monday 14th October 2019. From Sense Valley around Ibstock, led by Barry

Four members joined the leader to complete this walk. The walk started out cool and with faint sun, near the end there were a few short showers. We set off along Melbourne Road and made our way, via the park and rough footpaths to walk along Pretoria Road. Then we entered the fields to walk, along the quarry fencing, to Ellistown and Donington le Heath, crossing the abandoned railway and River Sense en route. A refreshment stop at The Green and then into the fields again going towards Ibstock. Negotiating the friendly horses, we crossed the river again and went onto the abandoned railway. After a short distance we set out across a large field to the outskirts of Ibstock. Crossing Melbourne Road again we entered the Sense Valley Park. Going into the wooded area we skirted the first lake before we joined the path round the main lake, eventually climbing up the steep path to the car park. The walk had a mixture of footpaths, bridle ways, field edges and pavements. There was one open field crossing but the grass was beginning to grow. Following recent rain, there was some standing water, but not so much to stop progress. The underlying surface was generally firm. The walk was 5.7 miles and took almost 3 hours.

Monday 9th September 2019. Carlton to Shackerstone circular, led by Alison

Photos by John D
Just 4 hardy souls set off from Main St, Carlton on a slightly wet Monday morning. The route took us across open countryside to Shackerstone Railway Station. Unfortunately, there was no warm welcome to be found at the cafe as it was closed. Oh well, on we continued along the Ashby Canal and sheltered under bridge 51 for our morning refreshment. The canal path took us virtually back to Carlton, we just had to cross the railway line to get back to our cars, by which time the rain had stopped!! 2.5 hours and 5.5 miles completed.

Monday 12th August 2019. Swepstone & Normanton, led by Carole

Photos by John D
12 people, including two new walkers, met at Swepstone Church on a bright sunny August day. We headed through the village and took a path towards Normanton le Heath. The path was very overgrown, and not walked very much. We walked through a couple of fields of corn, ready to be harvested. On to the outskirts of Normanton, and we followed the path west. Our coffee stop was by the model flying club, where we saw a few airplanes doing aerobatic moves across the sky. It was lovely to watch. Then back along the old milk road from Swepstone to Ashby and on towards Swepstone, finally arriving at the church at 12.10 after walking a total of 4.1 miles. A nice walk was enjoyed by all.

Monday 8th July 2019. Val and Trev led a 4.5 miles around Milton

Photos by Trev
On a warm, hazy day 7 walkers set off from Milton Main Street and headed through the fields of drying rape seed crops to the lovely grounds and building of Foremarke Hall, now the home of the prep school for Repton. Then heading through woods to Seven Spouts Farm where we stopped for a coffee break. Then we walked along the ridge back towards Milton. On approaching Milton we were surprised to be greeted by a lonesome peacock, who had taken up residency on the garage roof of cottage, much to the home owners dismay! It was a pleasant 4.5 mile walk

Monday 10th June 2019. Heart of the National Forest, Northern Circuit, led by Alison

A small but very select number set off from Moira Furnace on a day when rain was promised. The walk started along the Ashby Wolds Heritage Trail to Spring Cottage and on to a partial circuit of Albert Village Lake. Down to Conkers and back along the canal to the Moira Furnace Car Park. Interesting historical interpretation sculptures about local industry were enjoyed and we found out that Albert Village was known as Borra Nock by the local residents - no prizes for guessing why!! Against expectations the rain held off just long enough and we returned to our cars just before the 'heavens opened'. Just under 5 miles completed.

Monday 13th May 2019. Conkers to Oakthorpe led by Carole

Photos by Margaret and John
9 members met at Conkers on Rawdon Road. We walked out of Conkers towards Spring Cottage, and then back into Conkers Woodland, walking the old railway track to Donisthorpe. We then crossed the road, and continued along the old train line towards Oakthorpe. We had a coffee stop in Oakthorpe on a really long bench, longer than I have ever seen before. Through the village and past Oakthorpe lakes, to Donisthorpe church, then through the village to BMs. We then entered Donisthorpe Woodland Park, and followed the canal, past Moira Furnace, and back to our cars. A walk of 6.85 miles, a little longer than usual, but it was flat walking, and it was in beautiful sunshine.

Monday 8th April 2019. Newton Regis led by Barry Quelch

Photos by John H
Six members completed this walk. The walk started out cool and overcast with a cold breeze, later the sun attempted to come out. Much of the walk was on bridle paths and farm roads, there were some crops, mostly ankle deep, to walk through, and some grass fields. The going underfoot was generally good although the Salt Street was uneven with standing water. The walk went NE from Newton Regis to Salt Street (apparently so named because of the transport of salt from Cheshire in the Middle Ages), Eastward across the M42. From there we went along a bridle road to Austrey. Going Southwest then Northwest we re-crossed the M42 to re-enter Newton Regis from the South. Walking along Main Street, past the church and large duck pond, we reached the car park at the Village Hall. The walk was 5.9 miles and took 2h35m.

Monday 11th March 2019. Ibstock, Odstone, Nailstone led by Val and Trev Reed

On bright,windy morning, 10 of us met for a 5 mile walk from Ibstock. Passing by the scenic sewerage works and through a very muddy farm, we headed for Odstone, where we joined the Ivanhoe way, to cross fields to Nailstone, before heading northwards and back to Ibstock where we enjoyed glorious views of Ibstock church in the sunshine despite a very strong chilly wind

Monday 11th February 2019. Staunton Harold, Lount and Dimminsdale led by Jane

Photos by John H
On a bright, sunny February morning 8 walkers set off on this month's medium walk. We started from the car park at the tail end of Staunton Harold reservoir, up the hill and down to Staunton Harold, stopping to admire the stunning view of the house. It was then down the driveway, catching sight of our first snowdrops before taking the footpath to Lount, out to the Nottingham Road at the Ferrers Arms, and after negotiating muddy fields the route then took us back through Lount Wood on solid paths finishing up at the Nursery. From there it was a short walk down the drive to enter Dimminsdale Nature Reserve where we found our snowdrops in South West corner of the reserve. They were stunning especially as the sun was shining on them. These snowdrops seem to be better each year. We continued through the reserve to exit just a short walk from the car park. Total mileage 5.

Monday 14th January 2019. Bradgate/Swithland led by Alison Thompson.

Photos by Alison and John H
14 of us started out from Newtown Linford for our 1st walk of 2019. The day started cloudy and dry but did brighten up as the morning progressed.

We walked through Bradgate Park from the Newtown Linford Car Park to the Hallgates Car Park - seeing en route: a river, a reservoir, magnificent old oaks as well as the ruins of Bradgate House, one of the 1st modern stately homes to be built in England around the year 1500. One guide book calls the ruins romantic but we didn't see any evidence of romance on our visit - oh well perhaps on another day!!

On leaving the park we entered Swithland Wood and successfully negotiated our way through even though there were many tracks which could have led us stray. We made our way back to the Park and this leg of the walk was more uphill but we were rewarded with stunning views from the top of the hill beside Old John, then on to the War Memorial and downhill all the way back to Newtown Linford. Thank you Charles Bennion for giving the County such a wonderful place to visit.

Suitably tired, we enjoyed our delayed 'Christmas Lunch' at The Bradgate - although there wasn't a turkey in sight.

Total distance 5.4 miles

Monday 10th December 2018. East Midlands Airport led by Barry Quelch

Photos by John Dogherty
Five men attended the venue in Diseworth Road to accompany the leader along The Airport Trail. It was a fine, dry day, warmish with some cold breeze. There was a little shower later on. We set off clockwise along the North side fence of the airport, mostly on made paths, with some grass and tarmac. Along the way we stopped to examine the art installations provided by the airport to the designs of various local groups. As we approached the Eastern end we saw the huge warehouse site under construction on former farmland. Turning South we left the fence and followed the line of the A453 across a field and through wooded areas. Turning West we followed the South side of the airport boundary, passing the various hotels, through a plantation area parallel to the new A453. Continuing over the various airport entrances we carried on through the trees, seeing the large carparks and the DHL warehouses. We also passed more art installations and balancing ponds. There wasn't much wildlife along the way, maybe better luck in the Summer. We did manage to fit in one stile on the way. Reaching the Western end of the boundary we turned North, declining the alternative route through the picnic/viewing area, and then East. After examining the final art installation we left the airport grounds and walked along the roadside verge and into the Aeropark carpark. One final section of trees led back to Diseworth Road and the cars. The path was well defined and in good condition, there are a few slopes but no steep hills. Total distance was 6.2 miles.

Monday 12th November 2018. Zouch and the River Soar led by Trev and Val Reed

On a bright sunny autumnal day 15 of us ( a record for the group) started from the carpark near to the river bridge at Zouch. The walk started across fields and via lanes towards Loughborough, finally reaching the edge of Dishley pond then turning back towards the river Soar where we stopped for our coffee break. The walk continued along the river bank passing the chain ferry at Normanton on Soar and admiring the riverside houses on the banks of the river, On reaching the weirs at Zouch we crossed over the road using the road bridge and followed the canal for a short distance before returning to the carpark by way of the footbridge over the canal. Total distance around 4.3 miles.

Monday 8th October 2018. Saltersford Valley

The walk started at Saltersford Valley and headed north across fields on well defined paths. It then plunged into the undergrowth where it followed a single file, slightly muddy, path to Oakthorpe Colliery. From there, the route was in Willesley Woods on green paths until the Golf Course was reached. After crossing the golf course the route followed Willesley Lane to Willesley Woodside. Along Willesley Woodside and again into Willesley Woods on green paths, which gave exciting views across the A42. The two brave souls enjoyed warm but overcast weather. Total distance was 4.8 miles.

Monday 10th September 2018. Packington

Photos by John Howlett
Six of us met at the Bull and Lion, Packinton on a cloudy, cool but dry morning for this walk. We followed footpaths across open fields to Normanton le Heath where we crossed through the churchyard noticing a good display of autumn cyclamen. We stopped here for a short coffee/banana stop before setting off over yet more fields to enter the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Woodland, where the leader had a memory lapse (despite having pre-walked the route two weeks ago) and took our merry band the wrong way. This proved to be a 'happy accident' as we discovered walks through the woodland that not many of us had done before and thanks to Barry's excellent knowledge of the local area, we navigated our way to where we should have ended up. On the way we discovered a lake and the excellent Memory Barn which has a lot of information and history about the area, picnic benches and an impressive mosaic on the floor of the Barn. It was noticeable seeing the trees en masse that Autumn is on the way with colour apparent in some of the trees. We eventually got to the Bridle Way heading towards Packington where along the way we saw a herd of deer and a herd of Llamas (or were they Alpacas?) We arrived back safe and sound at the Bull and Lion having done a distance of almost 6 miles but still back by 12.30.

Monday 13th August 2018. Willington

Photos by John & Margaret
The walk started from Willington, where 10 people met, and proceeded to walk along the canal towpath towards Findern. We crossed the canal by a footbridge and walked towards Mercia Marina, for a few of our members to see. Following the road then to Findern, which was our coffee stop. We sat on the village green, decorated with WW1 statues and poppies, a lovely site to see. Then across a field to the very edge of Findern, passing an Indian restaurant with beautiful views looking over the canal. It was along the towpath again, and then crossing the very busy train line, and walking beside the train line back to Willington playing fields, and then back through Willington to our cars. A very pleasant 4 mile walk with no hills and only a few stiles.

Monday 9th July 2018. Shackerstone

Photos by Val and Barry
On a pleasant sunny morning 4 of us met to do a 6 mile walk. starting out at Shackerstone, we walked on to Barton in the Beans and then headed south to Carlton passing a lonesome Zebra on the way!!! Then across several fields of wheat, almost ready for harvesting, to cross the Battlefield railway line and on towards the canal path, where we then followed it back to Shackerstone

Monday 11th June 2018. Beacon Hill

Photos by Margaret Howlett
9 of us set off on a lovely sunny morning from Beacon Hill Country Park lower car park. The route took us up to the summit of Beacon Hill and then across to the Outwoods, just outside Loughborough before heading back to the car park. Just under 5 miles but a walk of diverse terrain and landscape. We all enjoyed the chainsaw carvings in the Park and the impressive crags at the summit of Beacon Hill, which are amongst the oldest found across the world. The Outwoods is an area of ancient woodland. Fortunately, there was plenty of shade along the way as the sunshine was very fierce. For some it was the first time in this area and all found it enjoyable

Monday 14th May 2018. Snarestone

Photos by John Howlett
6 members volunteered to follow the leader across the fields from Snarestone. The weather was warm and sunny, with little breeze. The route had firm going with no crops to impede our progress, and no mud. There were some stiles to increase the exercise quota, but the terrain was basically level. Setting off from The Globe we walked along Main Street before entering the fields via a farm track on the right. Crossing a number of fields we came to a rough farm track which led us onto Derby Lane. Crossing over and going through a gap in the hedge we walked along the field boundaries. The farmer had installed a fence to contain the path close to the hedge, which resulted in us wading through knee high weeds, fortunately fairly dry. Turning right, we walked along the edge of a field of oilseed rape before taking the path through the trees to reach the edge of Newton Burgoland. From here, turning South, the route was along a wide farm track to get back to Derby Lane. Crossing over and walking along the field boundary we entered a small copse and reached the canal towpath. The rest of the route was along the canal towpath back to Snarestone. Apart from the weeds and some unevenness, which resulted in a minor tumble, this was a pleasant, 5.6 mile walk.

Monday 9th April 2018. Melbourne & Wilson

Photos by John Dogherty
9 walkers met at Melbourne Hall on a very pleasant but overcast day. We headed off down Castle Street towards the cemetery, and then on to Kings Newton and open fields towards the Cloud Trail. Then we followed the Cloud Trail until the turning for Wilson, where we had a coffee stop, and on through the village of Wilson, heading up hill just before the golf course, where we had magnificent views of the surrounding towns and villages. Then on over fields towards Melbourne Lake and Hall, admiring the lovely yew hedge cut like clouds. Back to our cars, it was a 4 mile walk, and the sun had come out leaving a lovely spring day.

Monday 12th March 2018. From Moira Furnace to Gresley Woods and back

Photos by John Dogherty
6 walkers met at Moira Furnace for a walk by the canal to Conkers, Albert village lake and on to Gresley Woods. They all wanted to walk so we set off in the rain at 10 o'clock. At Albert village lake it stopped raining and we discussed a coffee stop but the rain started again so the general feeling was lets get on with it. In Gresley woods we took a wrong turning and had to take a muddy route back to Spring Cottage. This was helped by one lorry driver going out of his way to avoid a large puddle which would have soaked us. At Spring Cottage we picked up the old railway track and arrived back at Moira Furnace at 12 o'clock soaking wet but with a sense of achievement although those that did not join us will not regret it.

Monday 12th February 2018. From New Lount Nature Reserve

Photos by Margaret Howlett & John Dogherty
14 walkers met at the reserve.The weather was cold but sunny, with a scattering of snow and ice underfoot. As the morning progressed the sun was warmer and the snow melted, there was some cold wind but not bothersome. Most of the route had good going but there were some muddy areas. There were a large number of stiles on the route, some rather tall.

The walkers set off out of the Reserve along Melbourne Road and entered a farm access road and into Rough Park. The track was well defined but had some puddles but with room to go round. At this point two walkers decided to abort due to prior a engagement. The land is hilly as it crosses the former opencast site but we continued on the farm track. Reaching the A512 underpass we walked up the concrete access road and turned into the first of the fields. Following the hedges we reached Corkscrew Lane where a coffee break was had. Turning left for a short distance, we entered the fields to find another steep slope leading to another lane. Down a jitty between two houses leading to a large field recently set to grass. Onward to Church Town School and onto the old Ashby Road. Another sloping field which has a boggy bottom. Some negotiated this relatively unscathed, some with wet socks; others decided on different route where one walker found herself sitting in the stream. Onto the A512 where the 'wet' walker went home to get some dry clothes. Continuing to The Ginn Stables, avoiding the other boggy area, and out onto Outwoods Lane and Rempstone Road. A short section of pavement walking back to The Reserve.

Apart from the muddy sections, and the attrition rate, this was a pleasant, and memorable 5.2 mile walk.

Monday 8th January 2018. Ferrer's Arms to Dimminsdale and back

Photos by John Dogherty
Seven of us set off from the Ferrers Arms on a sunny but cold morning. We were grateful for the hard overnight frost as the first part of the walk over three fields can be muddy in warmer weather, but Jack Frost gave us a helping hand as the mud was frozen. Our route took us on a path between a thatched cottage and small lake where six curious sheep and a gaggle of more aloof geese saw us on our way to join the driveway taking us to Staunton Harold Hall. After leaving the Hall we took the footpath into Dimminsdale woods, crossing the tail end of the reservoir to Springwood car park where we had a short coffee stop. Then the climb up wooden steps back into Staunton Harold land, through the wooded area to arrive at a high spot with a lovely view of the hall. After descending down we skirted round and to the back of the hall where we took the path through Jaguar wood which proved to be a long and winding route back to the Ferrers Arms. A total of 5.75 miles.

It was then into the pub for lunch. We don't normally finish the Monday walk with lunch but this walk was originally planned for December when we do finish off with lunch, but the snow and ice we had that week meant the walk was cancelled.

Thanks to Carole who organised this walk but unfortunately could not do it today. We followed your clear instructions, Carole.

Monday 11th December 2017. Ferrers Arms

The planned walk from and to the Ferrers Arms via Staunton Harold and Calke was unfortunately cancelled at the last moment due to the heavy snow and ice. The roads were very slippery and the paths even more so, so we all decided to postpone the walk until next month. It also meant that our planned Christmas lunch at the Ferrers was also cancelled.

Monday 13th November 2017. Packington

Photos by Margaret Howlett & John Dogherty
Thirteen of us set out on the 13th from Packington - the omens were not set fair!

However, we all returned safely after a gently undulating six mile walk through the Leicestershire countryside. Making our way across the fields, we returned to civilisation (?) to pass underneath the A42 before traversing the golf course. Fortunately, we appeared to be ahead of the golfers and did not have to dodge any flying golf balls.

From there, our route took us through the woods and along the farm track to Oakthorpe. After the village, we traversed the fields to recross the A42 and pass through one side of Measham with a little road walking before turning onto a green lane. Turning off across a few rough pasture fields, we encountered a little mud but nothing too threatening before passing by Champneys Springs to follow the path to Normandy Wood. From there it was an easy walk across the field to re-enter Packington along the lane and regain our cars.

Monday 9th October 2017. Osgathorpe

Photos by John Dogherty
We started from Osgathorpe church on a dull but mild morning heading from the main street between two houses and soon into fields where we came upon three pigs who greeted us with various squeaks and grunts, probably after food. We crossed over the Hathern road and walked a short way along a lane before heading towards the lofty spire of Belton church via a couple of muddy gates. On reaching the village we continued down the main street before re crossing the Hathern road heading towards Low Woods with a field containing a dozen cattle, who stood and studied us as we passed. On reaching a field of maize with no obvious path through it, we set off keeping an eye on a large tree opposite. After what seemed ages we emerged none the worse for wear near to the stile on the other side. Our coffee stop was taken at the top of the next field with views of Belton and the surrounding countryside . Refreshed we continued along the lane then turned right and via a couple more fields before crossing Gracedieu Lane and one more field, and then back into Church Lane to our start point.

Monday 11th September 2017. Walk to Chilcote

Photos by No One
Four walkers met in the layby on Tamworth Road, north of J11 of M42 (SK313107).It was overcast and turned to drizzle just before we set off. The rain continued for most of the walk, with some heavy rain and some dry spells. We set off Southwards to the M42 island and across the A444 into the A5493 Tamworth Road. Entering the fields on the right we followed the hedges toward Chilcote, striking across some fields until we came to No Man's Heath Road. Entering the village and turning right we again entered the fields. After crossing two large fields we crossed the A444 into Stretton en le Field. Going along the single road through the village we then followed a track towards the A42. Going through the tunnel under the road we walked alongside the A42 Southwards. After a kilometre we turned left across the fields until we came out onto Tamworth road near our start point. There were a few stiles but mostly gaps in the hedges. Unlike the last walk, there were no crops as the fields had been ploughed/harrowed, with just small growth of crops. There was some mud but not a problem despite the weather. Total distance was approximately 5.8 miles.

Monday 14th August 2017. A 6 mile walk from Snarestone

Photos by Margaret Howlett
Seven walker's met outside The Globe in Snarestone, it was overcast and turned to drizzle just before we set off. This continued for an hour when it brightened up and we had some sunshine and a light breeze. We set off Westwards across the A444 into Appleby Lane and up a slope into the fields Continuing South West, skirting Norton Juxta Twycross, we turned North to Appleby Magna, stopping to commune with the horses on the way. A short road walk and into the fields again. Going South East towards Colludon Farm, we eventually turned left and retraced our steps to Snarestone. There were a number of stiles, some not easy to negotiate. This walk was a chance to get close to nature. On the way to Norton the going was fairly easy with corn, corn stubble and grass, with one field of clover. Through Cottage Farm, past the airfield was tarmac. Shortly after we came to the area where the farmers appear to have ignored the footpaths. The first field was maize with no footpath so we walked around the first part, on an access road, but then had to dive in and surf through it for about a quarter of a mile, to reach the stile on the other side. After Appleby we again encountered maize, with part of it having a trod path through it. After the maize it was forcing our way round a field of beans, between beans nettles and weeds. Repeat that in two more fields until we then crossed a short section of beans to a stile. One field of grass and then back to the clover. Total distance was approximately 5.9 miles.

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