Middle Valley


The Middle Valley is the area between Ilkeston in the South and Langley Mill in the North.


Bennerley Marsh and Chat Corner

Bennerley Marsh is situated between Awsworth in Nottinghamshire and Cotmanhay in Derbyshire. An area of mixed habitat comprising, farm land, rough grazing, wet meadow, marsh, some woodland in the form of small plantations and copses, a derelict coal plant, disused railway banks and an impressive viaduct. There are two canals, the Erewash and the Nottingham, and the Gilt Brook, plus three small ponds with easy access and another with a fence. The main area of Bennerley Marsh is a relativity small area of marsh and river flash straddling the River Erewash and is most active when the area is flooded. The whole area is quick to flood and quick to drain and is mainly dried-out in hot summers. Finally, there is the Newthorpe water treatment works: this can be viewed from the old service road to the coal plant and with care can be viewed around most of the perimeter fence.

Chat Corner. An area of rough fields, small plantations, marsh and river, best reached from Bridge Street in Cotmanhay. Cross the canal bridge at the Bridge Pub, cross the canal towpath and take the footpath/bridle path directly ahead, follow this path and pass under the railway and cross the River Erewash into Nottinghamshire, proceed untill a “T” junction is reached, this is Chat Corner. All areas of Bennerley can be reached from this location.


Tathame Pond

A small pond alongside the Erewash Canal near Cotmanhay. In summer look for Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and the occasional reeling Grasshopper Warbler. Plus, Butterflies, Dragonflies and a fair chance of the scarce Common Hawk Dragonfly. In winter it is possible you may a see a Water Rail.


The North or Shipley Gate Marsh

An area North of the MFN or Shipley Boat Inn, and consists of mainly ancient river meadows plus a small Reed Mace bed. Access via minor road from New Eastwood to the Shipley Lock on the Erewash Canal or via Long Lane from the Heanor-Ilkeston main road – park at the bottom of the lane and either cross the footbridge or follow the road on foot.


Erewash Canal and Milnhay Water Treatment Works

The canal-side walk here is good for Tufted Duck much of the year and offers a view across the Treatment Works where Pied Wagtail, sometimes in large numbers, and quite frequently Grey Wagtail, can both be found.


Bailey Brook valley

This small side valley occupied by the Bailey Brook starts in the vicinity of Loscoe Dam, renowned for its great views of Pochard in winter, some large scrub areas good for Ringlet butterflies and Kestrel, a large reedbed with Reed Warbler and a pond good for dragonflies and the occasional Little Grebe.

2 thoughts on “Middle Valley

  1. Avatar of ChrisLuv ChrisLuv says:

    Thanks for this Jim, loads of info here and a fascinating strip of the valley.

  2. Avatar of Jim Steele Jim Steele says:

    Added a small piece for Bailey Brook valley.

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