Grasscroft Wood Circular (13th April 2024)

This is Graham’s report on the Grasscroft Wood Circular that he guided us round.

Due to a broken leg David Scrivener was unable to lead this walk so in stepped Joe, Pete H and Graham, who recced David’s intended route a few days in advance.  

Starting out at Carlisle Close at Sheepbridge the party of 17 set off around part of the Peak resort path alongside the River Drone. We continued up the main road in Unstone to Mill Lane and down to the River Drone again where the mill and pond used to be, then up through Ramshaw Wood to Woodsmithies Farm. In the field opposite there was a herd of young bullocks and cows with newly born calves.    Continuing up the steep lane to Hundall Lane, we had a short breather, and then up to Hundall where we regrouped again for a short break.                                                                 We took the path opposite the T junction and past where the old Hundall Colliery operated until 1887 when it closed and its assets were auctioned off.  After the next field we picked up the bridleway to Stubbing Wood where we stopped for our coffee break.

Stubbing Wood is a great bluebell wood, but on the recce we found all the paths were very muddy, and we were maybe a couple of weeks too early to see the bluebells at their best.  The path alongside the wood was much easier going so we used this to reach the stile at Long Lane. From here we crossed a field of yellow oilseed rape and headed towards the ‘Black Hills’. It was quite muddy at the top of here but it had dried out a little from a few days earlier.

We continued over the next field and through Grasscroft Wood where we stopped to take in the fine views of New and Old Whittington, Brimington, Chesterfield and Bolsover. We then headed down the fields for Old Whittington  and through the churchyard of St. Batholomew’s Church. From here we turned right on Church Street North and then left in front of a row of cottages and headed across the fields for the footbridge over the railway.  Just before the footbridge, deer tracks were spotted on the path and then on our final few hundred yards we managed to spot three Roe Deer before they disappeared into the woodland on our right.    A nice sighting to end a nice walk

We arrived back at the cars at 12.45pm after covering 5.2 miles