The walk started at the picturesque village of Ault Hucknall. We walked along a quiet lane with fragrant May blossom and clematis flowering in the hedgerow; we were close to Crosswood and Oxclose plantation. We walked steeply downhill (Broadoak Hill) to a road where traffic was flowing steadily towards Hardwick Hall where a Food Fair was in progress.
As we entered woodland bordering Millers Pond, geese, a coot, a moorhen and a swan were seen, plus young ducklings, hiding in long grass by the water.
After a lunch stop, we skirted the Row Ponds, past fields of sheep and lambs including twin, black lambs. We walked steeply up to Hardwick Hall, the saying is “More glass than wall”, a display of wealth in Elizabethan times.
Entering Lady Spencer’s Wood we were thrilled to see a carpet of azure blue bluebells in mixed woodland. We then approached a lane and left by Norwood Lodge. Later, near a stream, we saw bright yellow marsh marigolds and wood sorrel. We continued on field paths to the Rowthorne Trail where blue forget-me-nots bordered the paths. Many spring flowers were seen on this walk, including violets, cowslips and swathes of wild garlic. We saw goldfinch, yellow wagtail, swallows and heard the call of the chiff-chaff. Eventually, we walked back on a footpath through fields of newly emerging crops, back to our starting point at Ault Hucknall Church.
This was an enjoyable walk through countryside and the Hardwick Estate, where everything we saw showed we were now well into Spring!
Eric & Helen
On the next walk on Sunday 2nd June we will be meeting at 12 noon at the church gate with our packed lunches, before leaving for the start of our 4 mile walk from Bolsover. Anyone wishing to join us will be very welcome. For more information contact 0779 1735 204.