Walking the Rivelin Valley – Part Three

The sound of water is always in the background as you walk along the valley. Sometimes its a quiet babble, at others its a crashing roar, but its never far away. It’s not hard to see why there was such a concentration of mills in this area.

There are reminders that you aren’t far from the city, but this is one of the things I love about Sheffield: there are lots of places like this right on my doorstep.

Rivelin Valley Rivelin Valley Heron Rivelin Valley

The area is carefully mangaged, mostly by volunteers who spend hours cutting back trees, conserving dams and working hard to keep the area in a condition where it can be enjoyed by everyone: we met walkers, runners and cyclists, but also encountered birds and squirrels. We even got a glimpse of a heron.

Rivelin Valley Rivelin Valley

There are three cast waymakers in the valley. The design is supposed to reflect the various features of the valley: flowing water, industry (in the form of wheels and products such as cutlery) and nature (in the form of seed pods). They are rather attractive, although like many things in this area, they suffer from the attentions of local vandals. (regular readers will know that I love grafitti when it is urban art, but this isn’t art.) Each one is at the site of a former wheel and tells something of its history. (If you would like to read the inscriptions, click the photos to link to larger images.)

Rivelin Valley Rivelin Valley
Rivelin Valley Rivelin Valley

Towards the end of our walk, we were rewarded with a sighting of the rare and shy Rivelin Valley Stick Monster. The scene at the end of the walk is beautiful, but it’s particularly lovely on a grey wintry day.

Rivelin Valley Rivelin Valley

One piece of advice: don’t do as we did and spend so long admiring things, that you don’t have enough daylight left to get home. Our afternoon finished with a rapid march back along the unlit section of Manchester Road, wondering if we would get to the streetlights before darkness arrived. We did, but only just.

All of my Rivelin Valley photos are here.

Further reading: Walking the Rivelin, a pocket guide to the Rivelin Valley Nature Trail by Keith Kendall is available locally, including from the Rivelin Valley Cafe

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