Sandiacre - Stoney Clouds
w/e 05 January 2003

I had intended to start the new year with an update from the controversial development of the Rutland Recreation Ground but controversial or not, the building work is well under way as these three pictures show. From left to right below, the frame for the indoor tennis centre is now in place where the terracing once stood on the upper rec; work continues on the six lane athletics track on the lower rec and the path that separates the two has been diverted to allow the frame of another building to be put in place.

A light dusting of snow and a bright afternoon tempted me to change my plans and take a walk past St Giles' Church at Sandiacre and visit the Stoney Clouds Nature Reserve.

Stoney Clouds is a prominent rocky outcrop that owes its name to the Saxon word "clud" meaning hill. With the temperature hovering around freezing point all day, the snow on the north facing slopes was still apparent but elsewhere it was quite muddy underfoot.

From the vantage point at the top of the "stoney hill", the views overlook the M1 motorway here seen looking northwards towards the Trowell Services.

This is one of the few sites where the Borough of Erewash may be seen as a geographical entity, where, as an information leaflet states, the rural meets the industrial. The view here illustrates this point admirably with the Erewash Valley Golf Club being sandwiched between the motorway and the Stanton Industrial Site with Ilkeston beyond and the countryside of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire on the horizon.

Returning from the high point via a different route, the view down the escarpment to the east revealed some coated horses grazing below and the town of Stapleford on the other side of the River Erewash. Bramcote Hills curtailed the view towards Wollaton and Nottingham.

And finally for this week, another view eastwards over the roof of a barn at Cloudside Farm but in the foreground, although Christmas is over for another year, what else could it be but a Yule Log!

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