Posted by: lensweb | June 6, 2013

Stanton Gate Triangle Walk – June 2013

June 3 2013 –  Stanton Gate Triangle Walk

Small car park (free) at end of rough track at bottom of Mill Road off B6003 (Church St) Stapleford, (you may prefer to park on road nearby)  approx 2 mile flat walk, (bridge with steps) that includes Stanton Gate Local Nature Reserve. Wildflowers and chance of finding grass snakes and/or water voles.

Grid ref  SK 486 375  near Postcode NG9  8FE

Leader  and report Marion Bryce

The bottom of Mill Lane is an unlikely spot to start a natural history walk but the Stanton Gate triangle is a hidden gem. Under a  blue sky with cotton wool cumulus a tarmac footpath leads through damp water meadows by the River Erewash. Purple heads of meadow foxtail and marsh foxtail wave between clumps of hard rush and a drifts of meadow buttercup. Alongside the path soft brome and barren brome tangle with herb Robert, shining cranesbill and hedge mustard. Tumbling waterfalls of may blossom arch overhead where alder cones are set. A swerve of the river carves steep banks for the kingfisher to nest and red throated  low swallows skim caddis.

Common Water-crowfoot

Common Water-crowfoot

Grey leaves of marsh ragwort, drooping pink heads of marsh willow herb and ladysmock, bright eyed tufted forget me not, yellow celery leaved buttercup receptacle protruding and confetti white flowers of common water-crowfoot are found in this site of interest for nature conservation which is on the Nottinghamshire side of the river.

Across the road we watch a rabbit bravely  cross the multi- track rail line, designated for an upgrade to HS2. A meeting of road, rail, river and canal at Stanton Gate Local Nature Reserve. Huge rectangular stepping stones lead to the canal side where the halophyte lesser sea spurrey flowers among toad rush under the motorway bridge. Stepping up to the meadow, iron slag and furnace waste from Stanton ironworks creates a depauperate soil where wild flowers thrive,. Birds foot trefoil, zig zag clover, ox eye daisy and kidney vetch attract many butterflies in summer (which is rather late this year) yellow meadow ants create a fine island tilth.

Wading through long grass and ladies lace with bright blue islands of Spanish bluebells we leave the reserve in search of gnomes and cross to the Erewash canal. Mallard with a stream of ducklings swim past reedy coots’ nests. We stroll past the black and white gates of Pasture Lock to the pleasing curve of Bridge number 12 and a view of timeless equine pasture. Tapestry veridian stroked russet ridge and standing water furrow, stripe to fresh spring green shades of distant trees.  The canal is a rippling metallic curve narrowing to the sharp steeple of the church of St Giles at the Stoney Clouds azimuth.

IMG_2475We sang across the rusty trellis and uncertain planks of wood over Stores Bridge back to Mill Lane.

Marion Bryce


  1. It was a most enjoyable guided walk and, once again, I have enjoyed Marion’s style of writing.


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