North from the Jinnie Trail

One of the village projects proposed for the Millennium was to establish a publicly accessible path from the Jinnie Trail along the old railway embankment to cross the Dove. There were, and still are, no public footpaths in this quarter of the village¹s surroundings.

Early in researching the project it was realised that someone else was already well into the process of achieving this.

“Sustrans” ( Sustainable Transport) is an organisation set up to establish a country-wide network of cycle and foot path routes and where acceptable, bridle paths. They wanted, as part of their own Millennium project, to complete a major through route from Mickleover in Derbyshire via Etwall across the Dove to Rolleston and Stretton on to the canal in Burton and along it to Lichfield. TheMickleover to Etwall route existed, they had already gained ownership of the old railway embankment in Derbyshire to extend the route to the Dove. They purchased the remains of the embankment between the Dove and Rolleston and at that time had agreements from another land owner on that section of the route into the village. They had financing for bridging the Dove. Stretton and Rolleston Councils however objected to cycling on the Jinnie trail. Sustran’s Millennium objectives were not going to be met so they had to opt for the inferior, less safe route from Etwall to the canal via the A38 bridge over the Dove and through Stretton. The moneys for bridging etc. were reallocated to, for them, more promising projects. Our Millennium project for a path to walk across the Dove didn’t happen.
Sustrans did, however, still own the land needed for a path from Station Road to the Mill Fleam close to the river and they did agree to clear it so that it could be used by the village as a short but different walk above the low fields. They have cleared it twice every year since. Unfortunately they have not completed stiles and steps up to the embankment which would be required by their insurers to allow them, formally, to open it as a Public Footpath but they have said that they would not object to anyone walking it at their own risk 

A few people do walk the path regularly. I do occasionally and I will do so on the 1st of April . If you would like to explore it but are reluctant to try it on your own you¹re welcome to join me at 11am by the Station Road entrance to the Jinnie Trail. It is an easy walk but there is a fence to cross and a not too steep embankment to walk up.

With the completion of the Village Appraisal and the Parish Plan, both Rolleston and Stretton have changed their position regarding cycles on the Jinnie Trail. Sustrans would still like to complete the project but the trail has been designated as a bridle way by the County Council. This reallocates the responsibility for its maintenance. This designation is being disputed. It may not be resolved for a couple of years and Sustrans is reluctant to proceed until it is.

If you feel like exploring the existing Sustrans route north into Derbyshire it starts at a neat entrance and slope down to the old railway, off the road from Hilton to the A38. It is on the opposite side to the White Swan just before the bridge between the pub and the level crossing.

John Underhill

(Taken from an article that appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of the Rollestonian)

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© Richard Bush

Last updated: 5 March 2006