Over the past few weeks, the ramblers have had to contend with many varying weather conditions - snow, icy winds, warm sunshine and lots of mud with walks either cancelled or shortened due to the adverse weather. However, this has not deterred them from stepping out and the number of ramblers participating in the programme of walks on offer has been in the region of 20 plus, sometimes exceeding 30.
On the last Saturday of February, Mel Hardy set out from Barber Booth with 12 members and two guests for a 10-mile circular walk, ascending the 1500ft to Edale Cross on a crisp dry morning. The group visited Oaken Clough, Dimpuss Clough South Head where four of the most energetic of the group ascended to the summit of the Clough before returning to Barbers Booth via Rushup Edge and Chapel Gate.
Rhona Gibbons and Gavin Johns led the 11-mile Sunday walk when seven ramblers braved the cold and windy weather, venturing from Whirlow Brook up onto Lodge Moor and around Redmires Reservoirs before returning via Ringinglow and the Limb Valley to the car park. With a lot of the ground still frozen, the walkers were pleased that this allowed them to avoid the mud across White Stones and Rud Hill.
The following Wednesday was a change for the ramblers with glorious blue skies and warm sunshine – Maggie Vincent had the task of leading 37 walkers on an eight-mile circular starting from Bubnell and covering Pilsley, Carlton Pastures, Edensor and Chatsworth before returning to Baslow. Ten of the walkers participating were from other rambling groups.
Christa Pritchard led 20 of the short bus ramblers from the Highwayman at Eastmoor over to Upper Loads and on to Holymoorside - mainly using the lanes in an endeavour to miss some of the mud that was still present. Once in Holymoorside they stopped for lunch outside the Lamb Inn, where they received permission to use the picnic tables, before setting off again towards Chander Hill, crossing the main road down to Ashgate and catching public transport back to Chesterfield from Holme Hall after a walk of 4.5 miles.
The longer bus ramble was led by Tony Hunt, who had a party of 18, taking a circular walk of some 11 miles from Holymoorside to Linacre Reservoirs then on to Bluster Castle finishing in Old Brampton with sunshine all the way.
Mel Hardy was leader for the Sunday long walk when 12 members set out from Holmesfield for an 11-mile circular walk, established to celebrate and commemorate the life of G.H.B Ward, arguably the founder of modern rambling. After passing Storth House, where GHB lived for an extensive part of his life, the route took in Totley Moor, Fox House, Big Moor, Lady Cross and Smeekly Woods, before returning via the Cordwell Valley. The entire group enjoyed the cold dry day enhanced at times by a little weak sunshine, especially during the stop for lunch.
The Sunday family walk of 3.5 miles was led by Lyn Amos, who took a party of six adults and one child on a circular walk to Stoke Ford crossing Eyam moor. Although cold, the clouds lifted at lunchtime and the group had spectacular views across to Higgor Tor and Stanage Edge.
For more information on the rambles programme of walks, visit www.chesterfieldramblers.org.uk or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.