THE WALKING GROUP
On a beautiful summer’s day we parked the cars at the Parish Oven, a recently closed public house, and began our walk through the village of Thorpe Salvin and down a path with the sound of a chiff chaff to the left and a field of broad beans on our right. We crossed a stile into an enclosed wooded area and heard a variety of birdsong before seeing a large expanse of calm water, the shape and colour of the nearby trees and shrubs reflected there.
We arrived on the towpath of the Chesterfield to Worksop canal and walked over Pudding Dyke Bridge, back onto the towpath and under the bridge to pass the triple lock system. These are relatively uncommon, with three locks joined together without the usual length of water (known as a pound) in between them. On this stretch there were other double and triple locks amongst the fifteen we passed.
We all managed to squash onto a convenient bench to eat our sandwiches whilst watching a drake nudging a mother hen away from her eight tiny ducklings. We later saw two other sets of ducklings, one brood settled on the grass verge near to the canal, until we unintentionally disturbed them. After eating, we continued walking and were joined by a cob swan which glided across the water towards us then swam beside us for a while. Just around the bend we saw the pen swan sitting on her nest.
At the Turnerwood Bridge, we admired the cottages and gardens on the canal bank – a peaceful place to live – and left the canal temporarily by crossing a railway, traversing a field and skirting a farm at Brancliffe Grange, once part of the extensive lands owned by the monks at Roche Abbey. During this time we could hear the constant drone of a low flying, light aircraft and realised there was a flying school nearby.
We slowed down slightly as we trudged uphill and into the woods and were pleased to see some wonderful views towards Worksop and the church tower at Shireoaks. We passed the River Ryton which feeds the canal and walked along the edge of Lindrick golf course. All was quiet here, not a golfer in sight, which was reassuring as notices advised us to be careful of being hit by golf balls.
Our route took us through an enormous field of rape seed oil, their flowers long faded, but the pods feeling knobbly and full of seeds, ready for harvesting. Eventually we returned to the canal and continued our walk in the calm, warm air of a summer evening to the car park.
Our next walk will begin at 4pm on 1st July and will be led by Mary and Julie through the Unstone and Firth Wood area. For anyone wishing to join us on this 4 mile walk, we meet at the church gates with sandwiches and a drink. Transport is then sorted.