Ticknall and Calke 15th May 2023
By following the RAW MILK signs, or otherwise, fourteen members arrived at the starting point for the walk. Encouraged by the sunny weather and fantastic views over the Staunton Harold reservoir we set off in a southerly direction towards Dimminsdale, proceeding with caution as we passed the 200 pound crocodile!
Dimminsdale Nature Reserve is an SSSI; in it’s heyday during the 18th and 19th century it was a quarry yielding limestone and lead. The path led us to a high point where we could look at a quarry face and only visualise the ores being extracted using picks and shovels.
Moving on through the woodland and emerging near Staunton Harold Hall we learnt about Laurence Shirley, 4th Earl Ferrers, the last earl to be executed, for murdering his steward; method of execution- hanged, using a rope made of silk.
Proceeding north through Calke Park, lunch was taken at the café area. Continuing through the Park towards Ticknall, but we had to stop off to greet, ‘The Old Man of Calke’. A pedunculate oak; a quick calculation of the sum of all the ages of the group was made- conclusion: – at 1000 years old, the oak tree only just won! Once through the Anglo- Saxon village of Tichenhalle we turned south to pass through naturally reclaimed woodland that again once housed limekilns returning to our starting point via boardwalks around part of the reservoir. A pleasant and varied walk of 6.5 miles in good company.
Dave and Kevin