Walkers invited to join festival

Pictured are Derbyshire Autumn Festival walkers.
Pictured are Derbyshire Autumn Festival walkers.

The ANNUAL Autumn Footprints Amber Valley & Erewash Walking Festival, set in the heart of picturesque Derbyshire, will embark on sixteen days of walks organised for the public on Saturday 10th September to Sunday 25th September 2011.

This Walking Festival offers a range of 32 guided free walks over 16 days. The Walking Festival has proved to be very popular with both inexperienced and experienced walkers.

The walks, led by volunteers and staff from over 20 organisations, will take place in Amber Valley and Erewash.

These two areas are well known for their natural beauty, superb scenery, industrial heritage and attractive towns and villages.

Last year the festival had over 900 people attending during the 16 days and this year it is hoped it will be just as successful.

Nearly 30 organisations are involved in jointly organising this ever-popular festival - including Erewash Borough Council, Amber Valley Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, several parish councils, community groups and Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire. The Walking Festival will begin on Saturday 10th September 2011 at 10.00am with a launch event at Shipley Country Park Visitor Centre.

This is followed by a short circular walk of 3.5miles at 10.30am in Shipley Country Park.

One of the Walking Festival Co-ordinators Marion Farrell from Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire, said: “This Walking Festival is a fantastic way to see more of your local area. Each walk has two leaders – there is plenty of time to chat and admire the views.

“The idea behind the festival is not only to get local people to appreciate the countryside on their doorstep, but also to show visitors that you don’t have to go racing up to the Peak District to walk through beautiful countryside.

“Most of the walks are close to bus and train routes enabling everyone to get to the start point.”

All the walks are free of charge, and will take place in areas of local heritage and natural history interest, taking walkers alongside rivers and canals as well as through towns and villages.

The walks are of varying lengths and gradient, ranging from one mile to 8 miles, offering something for everyone no matter what their interests or abilities.

They are all led by knowledgeable local people who are enthusiastic to show off their local patch.

Some of the walks taking place are:

Amber Valley highlights include Round about Alfreton (5 miles) starting at the Alfreton Bus Station on Monday 12th September at 10.30am, Explore the Highlands of Amber Valley (strenuous walk, 7 miles) on Wednesday 14th September meeting at Alport Heights.

Erewash highlights include The Lewis Wilson Memorial Walk starting at Royal Oak, Ockbrook on Tuesday 13th September at 10.30am and Top O’ Stanley (6 miles) on Thursday 15 September at 10.30am meeting at Stanley Village Hall.

Walks catching a train on the outward journey and walking back include Long Eaton Linear Walk on Monday 19th September at 10.20am at Long Eaton Train Station and Wednesday 21 September Belper Linear Walk at 9.45am at Belper Train Station.

Wildlife and good views on walks with Castles and Coals in Codnor Friday 16th September 10am at Codnor Market Place and Saturday 17th September Stanley Village Wildlife Walk at 1.30pm and the Figure of Eight Walk on Saturday 24th September starting at Trent Meadows, Long Eaton at 10.30am

Heritage walks include Blue Fly Tramway System, West Hallam on Saturday 17 September at 2pm, Butterley Company Echoes on Friday 23 September at 2.30pm and WWII Ordnance Depot Walk and West Hallam surrounds on Sunday 25th September.

Many of our walks are suitable for all the family but there are some walks designed for children. There is also Geocaching on Sunday 18th September at Shipley Country Park at 1.30pm with booking Essential. Call 08456 058 058.

A comprehensive guide detailing all the walks and events is available free of charge from Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire on (01773) 535232 or pick up a guide from Shipley Country Park Visitor Centre, or visit www.gdd.org.uk to download a full leaflet.

To book your free place on a walk contact Derbyshire County Council’s Call Derbyshire on 08456 058058