Walk Diary Wednesday 24 January 2018. Weather, 8° wet/windy to start.
Brackenfield Green Depart 10 a.m. 7 ¾ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 12
A wet and blustery day to start, clearing later but it did still remain overcast. The walk our leader had selected, skilfully avoided most of the real muddy bits and apart from one or two narrow woodland paths, where we had to walk single file, most of the walk was on good terrain.
We set off from the village green, me taking another picture of the well site, the former village water supply, now marked with a pump and trough erected in the millennium year on the village green. We headed down church lane to pass Holy Trinity church carrying straight on, its south side, then to follow a good path to cross over the River Amber and the main rail line. As we crossed over the footbridge an East Midlands Train, heading north, thundered by under us, you will see I managed to get a snap of it. We walked east for a couple of fields, climbing to meet a track and then to follow it down to recross the rail line and Ogston Bridge. Before descending we had a good view of Ogston Hall, a very private place and not visible from lower down.
We walked up to pass by the water treatment plant and then to follow the road along the eastern side of Ogston Reservoir, stopping before South Hill Farm for our morning break. We walked, on roads, the perimeter of the reservoir as far as Smithy Cottage and then walked the path beside the western arm of reservoir. We followed the same path to the road ahead and turned left to pass by Chapel Farm and ascend the rise beside Walnut Farm at Ashover Hay. We have stopped for lunch on this ridge many times before, with good views over the water below us, today we were fortunate that the wind was from the west and we could shelter in the lea of a dry stone wall for our lunch break. Really quite snug, good soft grassy tufts underneath, hood up and a wall as a back rest and shelter.
We walked on through Clattercote Farm, walking north of the Coal Pit Woods, keeping the same line as far as Woolley, here we turned along the road to the west of the reservoir back to Brackenfield parish church, thus completing a full circuit of the reservoir. Before reaching the church, we were alerted by our leader to stop and look at Ogston Heronry, three birds were visible on their nests, two flew off before I could get the camera into action. I have included one not very clear picture just to give an idea of what we saw.
At the church we turned up hill to complete the walk by following our outward trail back to the cars on the green, the walk completed in good time and before any more rain could arrive to dampen us.