Walk Diary Wednesday 22 March 2017 Weather, 8°C. Overcast then wet.
Crich Market Place Depart 10 a.m. 7 ¼ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 17
It stayed reasonably dry until after we had had our lunch break and viewed the lovely woodland Daffodils and this year we thought was one of the best shows yet. Parking in Crich was a bit fraught as there were several commercial vehicles (builders vans etc.,) parked around the square, but somehow we all managed to fit in.
We set off walking the road around to St. Mary's church and then walked to the east end, taking the path through the grave yard, continuing northwards on fields below the 'Stand' to Cliff Farm. It was here that we met the first real mud of the day, picking our way through the farm gateway into open fields. Some of the farm cattle were on the fields, in the opposite corner, but they had made a good job of churning what little grass was on the field into a difficult terrain.
With this section behind us we stopped near to Wakebridge Farm for our first break, whilst we were there, a tram from the museum moved along the skyline, taking some visitors to the far terminal. With the break over we walked along the lovely ridge, which overlooks the A6 below us, to Upper Holloway. We then descended down many steps, to Holloway and yet more to reach the lower road. We walked by the fine building that is Lea Hurst, the childhood home of Florence Nightingale and later their family summer home.
We now entered Lea Wood, making our way to our lunchtime objective, to once more sit amongst the Daffodils. We made our way eastwards along the old higher track, it was amazing to see how much work the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust had done, removing much of the very invasive Rhododendrons and letting in so much light that it must benefit the whole of the woodland in years to come. Many of the trees, now bearing Bat and bird boxes, all displaying numbers for easy recognition.
We settled amidst those yellow dancing heads, waving gently in the light breeze, eating our lunch and gazing around at this wonderful scene, how grateful we should be to have the opportunity to be here. After lunch we followed along the lower path and even here yet more flowering beauties, this time, clumps of Wood Sorrel and Wood Anemones, even one tiny Bluebell perhaps a harbinger of pleasures is to come.
As we approached Gregory Tunnel, passing over the canal this time, the rain that had started a little earlier became more persistent. We made our way quickly along the canal, turning at Leashaw Farm and onto the road of the same name. We then climbed the western path through Dukes Quarries, eventually ending up on the road back at Wakebridge, having completed a rather large loop. The rain was much more a hindrance now, so our leader decided to take the easier route back into Crich, by just walking the road up to the Tram Museum and cutting across the playing field and so back to the market place. Once divested of our soggy clothing more than half of us invaded 'The Loaf' where many cups of nectar were consumed.