Walk Diary Sunday 26 February 2017 Weather, 11°C. fair.
Osmaston Village Depart 10 a.m. 9 ¼ miles Leader: Rod
No. on walk 15
A good walk, taking us to some different places in an area we thought we knew well. We were hampered a little, by the residue left by storm Doris with some of the lower ground still saturated, although most of the field side drains were doing their best water burbling and pushing its way to the nearest brook. We also enjoyed the sight of lots and lots of Snowdrops both in hedgerow and woodland settings.
We left this fine village at exactly ten, the clock, on the tower of the Victorian built parish church dedicated to St. Martin, was striking the hour as we left the road to walk past the nicely thatched village hall. In fact many of the fine houses of this pretty village have thatched roofs. The village is also blessed with a duck pond with grassy surround including a couple of benches for visitors to sit upon. We headed westwards on what should have been field side paths, unfortunately in many cases the plough had got a bit too close to the hedge, so for some of the time we walked on the recently sown crops. We carried on for some time in this general direction until reaching Osmaston Pastures, here we discovered that the path had been completely destroyed by the hooves of some heavy horses in this field, fortunately Rod on his pre-walk had seen the farmer and had arranged for us to take a little detour away from the worst of the mud.
We joined the road just beside the farmhouse, but here having to be careful not to be run down by fast moving cyclists, moving along very swiftly in groups of about a dozen or so. Even when we had left the road to head south, they still could be heard, as more and more of them seemed to be out on some kind of rally. Good paths now as we entered into the outskirts of Wyaston, doing a little loop which returned us to the lane at Wyaston Grange, which put us on an easterly course, before that we stopped for our first break, grassy mounds making it a quite comfortable stop.
We continued on our journey, now with Wyaston Brook for company to our left, the brook flowing into the lake on the edge of Shirley Park. Once past the lakes we joined the Centenary Way, making it to the board walk, at the end of the first run of planking we turned sharply right, to walk along another set of boards, parallel to Greaves Wood. We passed by some sheep and plenty of young lambs as we made our way to Old Park on a good farm track. We struggled with a built up fence, east of Shirley Old Park Farm, where a stile once was, the nearby gateway awash with thick slurry that would have topped anything but thigh boots. It was at RodsleyWood Farm that we stopped for our lunch break, before moving on through the farm yard to get to the road and walk downhill into Rodsley.
At Rodsley, we stopped for a while to read a plaque to St. Ralph Sherwin who still supported Catholicism, against the law of the day. He was arrested in 1580 and after much torture during imprisonment was eventually sent to trial for treason in 1581, was found guilty and sent to be hung and quartered. There is still a yearly pilgrimage in June of each year to his place of birth in this village.
We were now heading directly towards Shirley, we could see the church tower of St. Margaret across the fields, sadly, there was much low ground and a brook betwixt us and it. Pictures are attached. Once in Shirley we took to the road and walked along the length of Park Lane, where at Shirleypark Farm it becomes a good surfaced track. It was now less than a mile back to our cars, but along the way we stopped by the old water sawmill for a quick break and a chance to take a couple of pictures. The mill is being restored and the waterwheel still looks in good order, it will probably be used as residential rather than sawing wood. We climbed up the long hill by Home Farm and were soon leaving the parkland to exit by the aforementioned duck pond complete with duck house. A short walk followed, up the street to our waiting cars, arriving there by two forty five.