A drizzly morning with a cool breeze greeted the group boarding the coach for today’s walk – a linear walk of around 8 miles, from Baslow to Hathersage.  There were 39 on the coach today – 3 non walkers who were dropped off in Chesterfield – the remaining 36 walked + Andy our coach driver who joined the group, walking with us to Grindleford at lunchtime before walking back alone to pick up the coach to meet walkers in Hatherage at around 4.00 pm.

As it was Easter Sunday, a free raffle was drawn. There were 4 prizes, an easter egg, chocolates and truffles – lucky winners were Janet, Jan, Kate and Maureen.  Jean introduced new walker Callum who was warmly welcomed.

Dave T today’s walk leader, gave a short overview of walk, and promised no mud….. of course look at the date – APRIL FOOL!!!!  Mud was consistent feature of today’s walk that saw the group climb steadily out of Baslow, across fields before reaching Gorse Bank Farm, where to the delight of many members, the first highlight of the day was seen.  Newborn lambs – all white and fresh with their mothers – see gallery for a delightful photo.  Dragging ourselves away, we continued – walking under the shadow of Curbar Edge, alongside a swollen River Derwent, reaching the spectacular Calver Weir. This is a scheduled monument, built in the 19th century to provide water to power cotton spinning at Calver Mill – see gallery for more information.  Passing Froggatt Bridge, the walk continued along Spooner Lane to Froggatt Wood – where copious amounts of mud slowed progress.  A welcome break for lunch followed in a delightful dell, where large stones and a felled tree provided much needed seats.  A short walk into Grindleford followed where drinks and a rest were enjoyed at the Sir William Inn overlooking the Derwent Valley.  Some members took advantage of the Sunday Beef Dinner available – again see gallery!!  How they managed to walk after such a plate of food in nothing short of a miracle!!!

After the pub stop a short walk downhill saw the walk once again follow the course of the River Derwent, across water-logged fields reaching Coppice Wood and yes – MORE MUD!!  Crossing a small bridge, Dave W spotted a dipper, perfectly camouflaged on a boulder in a stream running into the river.  The walk continued again across waterlogged fields until the village of Hathersage could be seen in the distance.  Dave C pointed out Goosesander on the river and crossing the fields, a flock and Canada Geese, could be seen.  At this point Dave Ty saw a number of brightly coloured Mandarin Ducks that were captured on camera for our gallery.  Reaching the imposing railway viaduct at Hathersage signalled the end of today’s walk.  Despite the mud, it was a lovely varied walk.  The weather was kind with only a few bits of drizzle along the way.

Dave T was thanked for leading the group on a very enjoyable walk.  Thanks also to back-markers today, George, Trevor and Ian.

Photo contributions gratefully received from Dave Ty and Jean T.