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Amber Valley Ramblers, Derbyshire

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Home Diary Walks Ashover Parish 7 June 2017

Ashover Parish 7 June 2017

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Walk Diary Wednesday 7 June 2017 Weather 14°C. Fair, Breezy.
Ashover village Depart 10 a.m. 7 ¼ miles Leader: Gerry White
No. on walk 24

Our walk started off form Ashover village and most, if not all, of our walk was conducted within the boundaries of Ashover the civil parish, this includes many small hamlets, such as Uppertown, Brockhurst, Overend and many more. Many of these probably started off as outlying farmsteads, indeed, one we passed by, Shooters-Lea bears the date on a wall of one of the three dwellings there as 1661. Much the land hereabouts is pasture land and experience has taught us that much of it is prone to being waterlogged, a no go area for winter walks, unless you are really keen! After the rains of the last thirty hours we could be forgiven in thinking that we would encounter water pools and muddy dips, far from it, the very strong winds seem to have had a very good drying effect. Even the long grass and bracken didn't dampen our boots, true, there were one or two places, particularly near to agricultural buildings where we had to pick our way, but I think everyone got round without having to clean their boots once they got home.

We left the excellent village car park and headed west taking the most direct lane to Kelstedge, continuing in the same direction to pass the farm of the same name and then through an area that is the source of the River Amber. We came to a stone footbridge and near here two brooks merge, Hodgelane Brook and Smalley Brook, we followed the arm of the Smalley Brook and then walked Easton Lane to Overend and Uppertown, stopping at the small community centre of the latter for our morning break. After this we climbed north westwards to Peasanhurst, passing by the Fishponds from which Hodgelane Brook flows. We arrived at Wilkin House, a massive complex of old buildings now being restored into something perhaps, more grand than they ever used to be. More fields followed, even one with a stainless steel gate, in truth a disused bathroom heater cum towel rail, nearby was a lovely restored dry stone wall, see pictures.

We crossed Hodge Lane making for Shooters-Lea Farm a notorious damp spot, but we were aided by footbridges and some boardwalks and so on to join a small lane to Robridding, a small hamlet in a dip, so from whichever way you come to it, it's steeply down and steeply up and out. After a short climb we took the path to Vernon Lane. Just after the first farm we stopped for our lunch break, sheltered from the worst of the wind by the hill behind us, the sun shining and excellent views across the valley to where we had walked this morning.

With an extended and comfortable lunch break over we walked to Vernon Lane Farm and then followed a Holloway first north and then east taking us back to join our outward path at the stone bridge. No loops and no detours, we followed our own outward trail all the way back to the car park and many rounding off the day with some refreshment outside the local pub, which handily, is quite close to the car park.

A great day out with everywhere lush and green, plenty of bird sounds as we made our way along, a Kestrel was seen hovering above the fields ahead of us and unfortunately we did find a dead young Woodpecker on a road. Horses, cattle and sheep abound on most of the fields. The horses, perhaps gave us the most trouble, trying to nudge one or two of us with their snouts to gain attention, it worked! Many of the old farmhouses no longer serve that purpose and have become grand dwellings in their own right and perhaps it is good that they have, at least they will not become ruins like many we see on some of our walks.

JW1JW2JW3JW4Pictures by James W.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 19:04