Saturday 4 September 2021

Trekking the Shire Dyke, Redux

 A couple of days ago I decided that I was fed up of feeling lazy and demotivated as I had been for a few days, and felt the need to blow away the cobwebs with a long walk. 

I know. I'm not very good at the "Listen to your body, get some rest" thing, nor the idea that you are allowed to have relaxing days where you do nothing apart from watch movies. I feel guilty about what I perceive as wasting time. 

These are not great attitudes, but then again, going walking is not a bad thing either. It's a question of balance.

The route I'd chosen for my walk was one I've not done for a while; walking the 5 or so kilometres to Barnby in the Willows along the road, and then following the River Witham and then The Shire Dyke back into town, a rather longer route than the outward bound one. 

I was really happily surprised to find in the village that the house with the eaves where the house martins nest was still busy with birds - there are still unfledged young in the nests that the adult birds are madly feeding, with cute black and white faces peeking over the rims of the nests. Plenty of swallows are around too.

The weather prospects look good, so hopefully they will be able to fledge and feed up in time for their trip to Africa. 

The route took me through the churchyard, and alongside the River Witham for a short stretch before its confluence with the Shire Dyke. This is when I remembered why I don't to do this walk very often - most of this section is along the edge of roughly ploughed fields it is really hard to walk along, and the views are actually quite bleak. 

Too much of our farmland feels too sterile. 

More swallows, mostly juveniles, were flying over the dyke at certain points, and also at a stables near the end of the path where it joins the main road, and the rather tedious walk back home along the main road through town. 

All in all, I'm glad I did the walk, although my gammy ankle wasn't, and the sense of achievement was palpable. But it's a slightly grim route to say its the countryside, and it reinforces my view that Notts is just a rubbish county for this sort of thing sometimes!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 04.09.21


  1. It's always nice to see martins and swallows late in the season. There were a few flying round a local park up here recently

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