The lack of sunshine doesn't deter Doncaster Ramblers from enjoying the countryside

On a murky morning 31 of us, (our post-pandemic record so far) plus Alfie and Skylar, met at Clayworth, leader Charlie had advised us that those wishing to view the Traquair Murals that the church would be open before 10am and many of us took that opportunity.

Saturday, 18th December 2021, 10:00 am
We walked northwards on the Trent Valley Way in the glorius scenery, despite the lack of blue skies and sunshine.

The chancel is decorated with fine murals by the renowned Scottish artist Phoebe Anna Traquair. The murals were completed in 1905.

The wall paintings were renovated to their original splendour during 1996 by Elizabeth Hirst, an internationally acclaimed art restorer. So, after Charlie’s briefing we set off through Clayworth itself.

We hadn’t gone far before a local person engaged us in conversation about the proposed solar farm. The plans for major new solar farm developments across Lincolnshire have raised concern among residents, who fear they will spoil the areas scenery and environment. The proposed developments would see the sites on and around West Burton power station, which is set to close next year, and Cottam, which was decommissioned in 2019, converted into expansive solar farms.

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Chesterfield Canal

The developments have been proposed as part of government plans to phase out coal power by October 2024. This site, between Clayworth and Gringley, would be on Grade-3 agricultural land and is a wonderful area to walk, with its gently rolling countryside.

After the local lady had described the situation to us we headed up Toll Dyke Lane, (where another local lady engaged us in conversation), at the end of which, as we turned west towards the Trent Valley Way, was a huge notice advising us that all the land between here and Gringley would be covered with solar panels if the proposal was given the go-ahead.

We walked northwards on the Trent Valley Way in the glorius scenery, despite the lack of blue skies and sunshine. At Gringley we crossed the main road and strolled to Beacon Hill to enjoy our elevenses. After this break we headed north to join the Chesterfield Canal at Shaw Lock, where the well-trained group, posed, unasked, on the bridge for a photo.

We followed the canal as far as Drakeholes, noting with interest that the canal had been drained under an old bridge so that it could be repaired. At Drakeholes we had lunch before continuing along the Cuckoo Way back to Claywoth. Thanks to Charlie for a much-enjoyed walk and to Norman for back-marking.

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

Apology: I recently mis-named Nigel’s dog Alfie as Archie; Alfie agreed that he would accept a public apology. Also, while I’m on the subject, I have in the past referred to Sky, that should by Skylar.