The Drone Valley Way (27th April 2024)

Peter Carr, the walk leader, has kindly provided a full report on this walk.

The Drone Valley Way, devised twenty years ago by Barry Jex and the Society was to be our walk today.  It turned out to be a walk that not many of those in the group had done before so it was pleasing to give it an airing.  In addition, Councillor Suzie Perkins, the Mayoress of Chesterfield, who had joined us on the re-launch of the North Chesterfield Way the previous October and enjoyed that walk had suggested we should do a walk from Dronfield to Chesterfield and finish the walk at the Mayor’s Parlour.

Twenty three of us set off from Dronfield Civic Centre to walk this way marked route that takes you through Mill Lane, Metapic Wood, The Unstone Line and Ramshaw Woods before we began the steady climb to the masts on the hillside above Unstone and into Grasscroft Woods overlooking Chesterfield.

The industrial heritage of this area has almost been taken over by nature and in stark contrast to the mines, coking ovens, railway lines and spoil heaps that were here there is open grassland and woodlands supporting bluebells, ramsoms, forget-me-nots and many other wildflowers and wildlife too.  The birds were a feature of interest for us trying desperately to identify them.

Grasscroft Woods was our lunch stop given the fine weather and sheltered position and for some with keen eyes the sighting of a deer emerging from some undergrowth to scarper into the woodland.  It was a welcome break picking out landmarks in the distance whilst replacing lost calories.

All downhill now to Old Whittington stopping briefly by Revolution House, which was undergoing renovations, for a brief catch up with history and the events of 1688.

We continued our walk along Newbridge Lane to reach the canal and from there to Tapton Lock for a brief stop and meet Barry Jex, the originator of the Drone Valley Way walk and continue with Barry along the canal and River Rother to Chesterfield and its Town Hall on Rose Hill.

We were met on the steps of Chesterfield Town Hall by the Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield, Cllrs Mick Brady and Suzie Perkins who greeted us very enthusiastically.

Upstairs we were shown into the Mayor’s Parlour where we had some light refreshments and soaked up the ambience.

It was a great end to a great walk.