Doncaster Ramblers: return of the Neanderthals

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Creswell Crags a site of cave habitation by Neanderthals some 40000 years ago and well worth a visit, possibly in a little better weather

Tuesday 9th April, twenty Homo Sapiens with one Copus lupus familaris (a dog) met on a breezy and cloudy morning at the Dukeries Garden Centre at the Welbeck Estate on a cool and breezy early spring morning.

The thoughts in most walker’s mind was how wet the weather was going to get? A short walk brought us to Creswell Crags a site of cave habitation by Neanderthals some 40000 years ago when this area was on the edge of the glaciation.

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We were advised by Alisdair, one of our two walk leaders, that the DNA of Homo Sapiens is 1 to 4 per cent Neanderthal hence the title of the walk. Not sure what he was trying to say about Doncaster Ramblers membership!

After walking round the crags, caves and lake it was time for coffee, not sure what we Neanderthals should have been drinking, and to shoot a passing sandwich with an arrow to provide sustenance, though Kerensa cake was a far easier and more enjoyable way of getting food.

Refreshed we continued the walk around the perimeter of the massive Whitwell Quarry which produces Magnesium Limestone for the glass and steel industries. Leaving the quarry behind us we crossed the railway line and into the village of Hodthorpe where a short stop was required to don waterproofs as heavy rain had started to fall.

Crossing the A60, carefully, we followed Broad Lane to South Lodge of the Welbeck Estate where we joined the Robin Hood Way through the estate grounds. Crossing Gouldsmeadow and Shrubbery Lakes we reached the muddiest part of the walk but fortunately the rain had eased off by this stage and we were nearly back at out start point.

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Thanks to Neil and Alisdair for leading and back marking this walk and for the local history. Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and Barney and Betty Rubble did not join us on this walk, maybe they did not wish to risk cross breeding with us Neanderthals! Neil advised us the Neanderthals died out because they cross breed with the more successful Homo Sapiens. Might have been better if we had a few more Neanderthal genes! Stephen J Tomlinson.

Non-members welcome, just turn up and you will be well looked after

Doncaster Ramblers try to offer three walks a week. Two Tuesday and Saturday are of a longer distance and aimed at the enthusiast. Our Thursday walks are shorter and perfect for those beginning their walking journey, or those not quite ready to give up

Please visit our website for latest information, including future activity

Also follow us on Facebook for details of past Rambler outings.

Remember while out observe the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.

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