The Dumbles, Lambley, and Lowdham
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Walk across the gentle rolling hills of Mid-Nottinghamshire, through centuries of agriculture and ancient settlements, in a green belt about 11 km (7 miles) northeast of Nottingham city.
Lambley means "lamb's meadow": the Old English words lamb and lēah meaning a forest, wood, glade, clearing, pasture. The village has hardly been touched by urbanisation.
Dumble is a local dialect word meaning 'hollow; wooded valley; deep cut water course' (Old English dumbel or dymbel). Lambley Dumbles are a fine example where the clay bedrock plateau, made up of Mercia Mudstone, is dissected by streams, forming steep sided, ancient wooded valleys rich in flowers and ferns.
Ploughman Wood was once part of a much larger area of woodland that dates back to the 13th century. It is mainly ash/oak with some other species and this mix provides an excellent range of habitats for wildlife.
The route takes us past HMP Lowdham Grange opened in 1998, built on the site of the former Borstal which closed in 1982. One of Lowdham Grange's new prisoner custody officers had previously been employed as a security guard for the gangster Reggie Kray.
We will visit the WoodLark Inn at Lambley during the afternoon.
Well behaved dogs are welcome but owners must ensure dogs are kept under control at all times.
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Image Credits: All images taken by the event leader with permission for ODL use.
What to bring
Anyone new to walking may wish to draw from the following as required:
Suitable well-fitted walking footwear is most important to keep you safe and comfortable. Sturdy trainers with cushioned soles and a good grip are often suitable but proper walking boots or shoes in wet conditions or on uneven ground are preferable. Smooth soles with no grip are not suitable. Thick, well-fitted socks cushion your feet, help to keep you dry, and prevent blisters.
Layers of clothing you can easily put on and take off according to changing temperature and weather conditions help to keep you warm and comfortable. Choose a base layer (vest or t-shirt), a mid layer (micro-fleece or long-sleeved shirt), and in cooler weather add an outer layer (windproof jacket or thick fleece). Breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry more quickly. Synthetic trousers are lighter and dry quicker than denim. Large pockets are useful.
Avoid jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, and take ages to dry out. On warm days shorts may be suitable, but consider rough foliage such as brambles or nettles on some routes. Check for ticks when walking through long grass, etc. with bare legs.
A hat or cap keeps your head and eyes shaded in direct sun. Sunglasses protect your eyes from glare and make it easier to see where you are going. Sun block is advisable during prolonged exposure. In colder weather or a biting wind, a hat, scarf and gloves are essential.
Bring waterproofs to stay dry in wet weather. Water resistant fabric loses effectiveness over time. It will need to be re-proofed or replaced periodically. Bring a towel and a set of dry clothes to change into if possible. A backpack rain cover helps to keep belongings dry. Gaiters are optional and help to keep lower legs and feet dry. An umbrella is impractical while walking.
A comfortable backpack of 20 to 30-litre capacity, allowing you to use your arms freely, is suitable for most day walks.
Walking sticks are optional and may assist when climbing or descending, or on uneven ground.
Bring any essential medicine you may need during the day for any on-going ailments or conditions, such as hay-fever or diabetes.
Food & drink
Bring plenty of water and any preferred drinks, food and snacks to keep you going during the day.
Bring a packed lunch to eat about half way through the walk.
We will visit the WoodLark Inn at Lambley for refreshments after lunch.