A trio of woodlands – not all of our outings are nice.

Over the past weeks I’ve visited 3 woodlands in the Long Eaton area.  I’ve had mixed feelings on them.  Last week I visited Orchid wood, it’s between Sawley and Breaston.  It’s quite a small and newish woodland owned by Erewash Borough Council.  It had good parking and well defined paths throughout, I was quite impressed.  It was popular for dog walkers and I thought it could be a good spot to take my boys for a play and picnic. I was out on a run whilst exploring this woodland and as the site is quite small (only 5mins to run around main path), decided to make my route a bit longer, by following the bridleway out of the north-west side of the reserve and follow it south onto Wilne Road, then south on the road towards St Chads Water, there’s quite a nice walk around this lake. Then back along the road and more bridleways. It was about 5km.

Looks a bit of a dump, even from the car park

This week I visited Forbes Hole  and Trent Meadows.  It’s part of being a volunteer for the Woodland Trust and adding information about the woodlands that are on their Visit Woods webpage. I grew up in the Sawley and Long Eaton area and remember my parents saying not to go to Forbes Hole.  They said there were dodgy characters and and reports of a flasher.  It was also rumoured that this was a site used by members of the public of all persuasions who like to show their love together in the outdoors.  Now personally I wouldn’t want to come across anyone in the act and certainly not when I’m out with my boys.  Anyway, maybe I was just told these things as a way of making me stay clear of the place.  It worked, this week was the first time I’ve visited.  All I can say was that I did not feel safe.

Quickly skipping past the tent, ‘la la la, I’m not scared’, liar.

There was a tent out in the woods and felt like I was being watched all the time.  The path is circular, around a pond and the railway runs along one side, so I felt very trapped. I quickly headed back to the car and set off to try Trent Meadows instead.  This was much better, a lot more open and more people around and as the name suggests, it’s more meadowy than woodland.

There’s even a playground at Trent Meadows

I spoke to a very friendly couple about Trent Meadows and asked them if they’d been to Forbes Hole, they confirmed my thoughts. They didn’t go there anymore for the reasons I was told when a child. They also said their dogs had chased two fellas out of the bushes at Orchid wood, the site I was at last week. Some more images below of Trent Meadows. So overall I would not recommend Forbes Hole unless you are very confident or in a group.  It’s a real shame places like this develop such bad reputations.  The site itself is quite nice.  I plan to contact the council and see what their view of it is.  Of course this is only my view of these places, but thought it would be good to share it with anyone local.