Derby - Alvaston Park
w/e 24 March 2013
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Just when we were beginning to think winter was over for this year, it made an unwelcome return and with blizzard conditions in the forecast for the weekend here in the East Midlands we decided to take a ride to Alvaston Park for these images on Thursday afternoon. Snow did in fact return on Friday but Thursday afternoon was bitterly cold under a featureless sky.

Alvaston Park

A few weeks ago we completed the Derby Heritage Walk at the Pride Park Stadium which we had reached via the riverside path from the city centre. If we had continued along that path we would have reached this point and the entrance to Alvaston Park in just over another half mile.
The Lake

Following the path into the park leads to the five acre lake that was added to the northwest corner of the park in 1923, ten years after William Curzon of Breedon Hall had made some of his land available which was duly opened to the pubic.
Park Features

Since its opening, there have been many developments at the park and following the path from the River Derwent by the lake leads to a Science Garden, Play Area with zip-wire, Tennis Court and also a Ball Court plus many wide open areas.
Tree Lined Road

On this occasion though we hadn't entered the park from the river but by driving into the car park via Meadow Lane off the main A6 London Road, part of which is along the tree lined road flanked by football pitches. In my time as an amateur football referee in the 1970s and 80s I passed along this way many times to officiate at matches but since then a new pavilion has been built adjacent to the car park.
Feed The Birds

The new pavilion also serves as a community building and cafe where we purchased a couple of bags of "Duck Food" that found favour with all sorts of other birds as well as the ducks.
Crocus Mound

From the pavilion we followed the path around the perimeter of the lake in an anti-clockwise direction and found some crocuses adding a splash of colour to one of the mounds despite the cold weather.

There were more crocuses on a small bank between the lake and some of the football pitches and although there have been many changes in the park, the pitches look pretty much as they did over thirty years ago. I remember one match in particular here when nearly half the home side kept the opposition and myself standing in torrential rain as they refused to leave the changing rooms. As soon as they had the minimum number of players on the pitch I started the game ten minutes late although I shouldn't have done so as they hadn't a goalkeeper on the pitch. A resultant penalty kick when one of the defenders handled created uproar but the rest of the players soon appeared and went on to win the game. Sometimes you just have to apply a bit of common sense even if it means bending the rules a little!

Along the northern edge of the lake the path continues between the shrubbery and a reed bed at the water's edge.
Splashing About

After passing the reeds the island in the middle of the lake became visible again but our attention was drawn to the Canada Geese making a splash in the water. Shortly after this, we left the lakeside to head for the riverside path which we followed to the entrance to the park seen in the first image in this selection.
BMX Track

Having completed the circuit of the lake we returned to the relative warmth of the car but paused on our way out of the park to view another attraction, the BMX track but found there was considerably less action here than on the lake!

For more information about the park see the Alvaston Park Friends site.

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