The first walk of the New Year was on Saturday 2nd January, led by Graham Gill from the Talbot Arms, Carr Lane when 14 members (mudskippers) turned out on a very wet morning with a poor forecast. Graham had put together a 5 mile route taking in Barnes Lane, Dore & Totley Golf Club, Tinkers Corner, Totley Brook, Fanshawe Gate Lane and returning via Mickley, Northern Common and Longcroft Road. The route was chosen as it had a good amount of decent walking surfaces – but as always with the winter programme walks there were some quite muddy sections too. Despite the quite heavy rain at the start everyone was keen to do the walk, and the group set off at 10.00am along Barnes Lane towards Bradway. After a short distance the heavy rain eased, and gave way to mainly drizzle which remained for the rest of the walk. coffee stop was taken by the side of Totley Brook, which was high due to the recent heavy rain, and a bag of chocolates was handed around by Eileen. We carried on through Gillfield Wood and up behind Woodthorpe Hall, onto Fanshawe Gate Lane and then through the bottom of Holmesfield Park Wood. As we left the wood this was probably the muddiest section, across a very squelchy field towards Mickley Lane. The rest of the walk was on good surfaces and we arrived safely back at the Talbot Arms car park on schedule at 12.45. The walk was billed as having “opportunity for lunch at the Talbot afterwards” on the walks programme, and 10 of the group enjoyed some lovely food and drinks afterwards to round off a very enjoyable walk despite the conditions. Everyone thanked Graham for the walk and it was suggested that the walk be repeated on the Summer Walks programme when the weather might be a little kinder to us. Watch this space.