Awsworth - Willoughby Top Cut
w/e 16 July 2006
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490


There's a stretch of the disused Nottingham Canal at the side of the Awsworth bypass that still contains water and from the look of the anglers on the towpath, there must be some fish in there too.


This short walk will take us along the towpath as far as the Bennerley Viaduct and then back up the other side of the canal. All along the towpath there are glimpses of the viaduct and across the River Erewash valley to the Cotmanhay Farm Estate and Cotmanhay Wood beyond.

Much closer to hand though are the usual variety of water birds, coots, moorhens, ducks and of course a pair of swans. This one was seeking some respite from the hot sun in the shade on the far side of the canal.

Insects were also to be found in abundance - I'm no expert but I believe this one to be a Common Blue Damselfly.
Information BoardAt the midway and turning point of this walk an information board gives details of the origin of the name 'Willoughby Top Cut' and states that the site was created in 1997 to reduce the impact of the construction of the Awsworth bypass on the local wetland habitats and the common toad population. In fact tunnels were included in the development plans for the new road to secure the toad migration routes. To see all the information on the board including a map of the site click here or on the small image on the left to open a new window showing a larger version (188kb)

Zoomed View

Willoughby Top CutLooking back along the canal route (see small image right) from the same position as the information board, the water is obscured by the luscious growth of bulrushes, reeds and other water loving plants. Utilising the zoom lens on the camera though (above) makes even clearer what can be seen by the naked eye. Another angler on the towpath confirms the presence of deeper water just beyond the swampy ground at this point and in the distance above the rooftops of Ilkeston are the twin features of two churches that dominate the skyline from all points around - the tower of St Mary's and the spire of the United Reformed.
Shilo Way

As we begin our return leg of the walk, the new Awsworth bypass or Shilo Way as it is now called comes into view but the route back is along the footpath to the right of the fence. The road is named after an area of nearby land where a Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1834. It was described in White's Directory of 1853 as being 'an extra parochial hamlet of 8 houses on the western side of the Nottingham Canal.'

Looking back along the footpath, the presence of the bypass is betrayed in pictures only by the street lamps high above the trees and bushes on the right but in reality the noise of the passing vehicles is only partly muffled by this natural barrier. In this image the canal is to the left but it does not come into view until close to the end of the walk because of the intervening strip of land again filled with trees and bushes although at one point there is a small meadow filled, at this time of year, with wild flowers.

Site Navigation

"Pick A Picture"
Weekly Favourites
Latest Images
Holidays &
Days Out
Special Features
The Guest Page
Site search Web search

powered by FreeFind
Jigsaw Puzzles
Recommended Links

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.