Mythaholme & the National Memorial Arboretum walk
This 5½-mile walk explores some of the older and more recent history of part of the Trent Valley.
It passes mediaeval earthworks, the 18th century Trent and Mersey canal, 19th and 20th Century mineral workings and the 21st Century plantings of the National Memorial Arboretum, themselves commemorating recent history.
Points of Interest
Managed by the Royal British Legion, the National Memorial Arboretum was conceived as a living tribute to people of the 20th Century, a period marked by global conflicts. Planting began in 1997 and there are now over 60 memorials commemorating not only the Armed Forces but also civilian groups and individuals.
Alrewas: There has been a village at this crossing point of the River Trent since before Roman times. In ancient documents, the village name was written as Allerwas or Alderwasse, which comes from ‘aldr’ (alder) and ‘waesse’ (marsh). Alder trees still thrive along the river and canal.
The east arch of the tower of St Leonard’s Church, Wychnor dates back to 1200 AD, and the rest of the building from the 14th century. The lost mediaeval village of Wychnor is on the higher ground opposite the church.
A sluice near Wychnor lock carries water under the A38 along a channel that served Wychnor forge, which operated from 1764 to 1781.
The rich sand and gravel deposits in the Trent Valley have been extracted since the 19th Century. Barton Quarry, owned by Hanson Aggregates, covers nearly 300ha. The railway bridge here is a favourite haunt of trainspotters.
The Mythaholme footbridge was opened in 2004. Mythaholme comes from the Old English meaning the mouth of a river where it runs into another or a confluence of rivers.
If you are very lucky, you may see otters on the river. But even if you don’t, look out for other wildlife on this quiet stretch. As the path bends to the right, you look across to Croxall Lakes Nature Reserve, which supports a variety of birds and other wildlife.