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A Walk in the Woods

If you’re not-too-far from Oakwood and need a peaceful location for a short walk with your little ones, your other half or just the dog, Chaddesden Wood is a lovely way to pass some relaxing family time together.

Right in the heart of Oakwood and with entrances situated next to Parkview Primary School and across the road from Oakwood Park and Springwood Leisure Centre, this little slice of green and thriving woodland is the perfect place for a spot of dog walking, nature spotting, Sunday strolling or just toddler tiring out!

Derby Mums headed to the woods with Mr Derby Mums and Little Miss DM on a bright and unexpectedly sunny Sunday morning and enjoyed a perfect family morning in the dappled light and welcome peace.

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Walks of any length can be a complete nightmare with the little legs and larger-than-life character (some would say attitude!) of a 2 yr old in tow, but LMDM was fascinated and in her element from the moment she set wellied foot on the wide and pushchair-friendly path that circles just within the wood’s border.

We always find walking on a forest path relatively relaxing with Little Miss because:

* there’s no traffic to run into

* there’s little or nothing to break or ruin

* if the path is relatively hazard-free, no enforced hand-holding or rein-resisting is needed

* LMDM can just RUUUUNNNN!

* the path dictates (for the most part!) where we’ll be going, so there is limited “nooo, THAT waaaaayy!” type debates

* she can be LOUD (we don’t encourage her to shriek till she falls over, but there’s space enough to sing, shout, bash sticks and stones etc without knowing you’re ruining someone else’s day / hearing )

* there’s so much to look at, listen to and touch

* it’s 1. outside and  2. nature – yey – good parenting tick!

* it’s beautiful

* it’s free

 

Although we passed a few families and dog walkers on our 40 minute journey through the forest (bear in mind this was toddler pace), we were struck by the tranquillity and near silence that is so rare today, especially right in the middle of such a large surburban estate.

Everyone we passed on our way was extremely friendly towards us, with the sort of ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’ that you just don’t get when walking down the street, but seems to be an integral part of ‘country’ life. We’re always struck, and quite frankly charmed, when we go on walks, visit National Trust parks or have any ‘outdoorsy’ days out by how these activities and locations seem to bring out the best in folk and everyone seems genuinely cheery, polite and happy to greet you as you pass by.

Ah – the simpler things in life, hey?…

Although we really just followed the path, with a little tree-hugging, squirrel-spotting, mud-splashing, acorn-holding, woodpecker-hearing and first-blackberry-tasting thrown in when the opportunity arose, if you visited with older children there are so many opportunities to make full use of the gorgeous surroundings you’re in. From den-building to scavenger hunts, collecting natural objects with which to make a piece of art work (either in the woods or at home later), drawing, photography or even making your own video of your woodland walk. (We all know that our children have no problem with technology and apps that are still mystifying to us oldies!)

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An added bonus to our morning’s toddle was finding a gap in the woodland with a path leading us through a golden cornfield, with views way past Breadsall Village and Duffield, all the way to the wind farm at Carsington Water!

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If you’d like to find out more about Chaddesden Wood, the wildlife you can find there and any upcoming events, visit the website below for more information. You can also read more about the opportunity to join The Friends of Chaddesden Wood and help with the conservation of this leafy surburban haven.

 

A perfect family morning – bliss!

 

Find out more:

* on the Friends of Chaddesden Wood website: http://www.focwood.org.uk/

* Lovely Chaddesden Wood video showing a’ year-long’ timelapse of a walk in the woods:

 

 

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