Primary School Scouts walk the full length of the Chesterfield Canal

Issue date: 21 March 2011

Members of 7th Retford (St Swithun’s) Scout Group walked “The Cuckoo Way” over four days in February half-term, following the route of the Chesterfield Canal.  

At a Scout meeting, it was agreed that the route would be split into three sections.  Two days of the walk would follow the canal and would finish in Retford each evening so that the group could sleep overnight in the Scout Headquarters.  The third day would see the group completing the Chesterfield to Kiveton section of The Cuckoo Way.

Despite starting on Saturday morning at Kiveton Park in sleeting snow, the group walked all the way to Worksop before stopping for lunch.  They continued in the pouring rain until they got as far as Retford.  This was 15 miles of the total 46 miles completed.  

On Sunday, it was again damp and a cold wind blowing as they set off from West Stockwith Basin.  Lunch was eaten at Drakeholes.  In the afternoon, the weather improved and they walked to Retford completing 15 miles that day. 

After driving to Tapton Lock in Chesterfield on the Monday morning, the group walked into Chesterfield to the start of the walk and then walked back passing Tapton Lock and heading through to Staveley.  The canal is being restored as much of it has been filled in, in the past, between Staveley and Kiveton Park.  Much of the walk is across muddy terrain as there is no canal here and you need a map and compass to find your way, particularly as there are two diversions in place at the moment.  At 4.45pm, despite only having 5¾ miles to complete the entire walk, it was agreed that it would be better to stop at the point and to finish off the following weekend. To complete it, it would have taken a further two hours and some of it is walking through fields with animals in and because of the rain, some parts were flooded.

The following Sunday saw the group returning to Killamarsh to restart the walk.  They walked to Kiveton Park to complete The Cuckoo Way and it was still only lunchtime.  The group decided to continue after lunch and walk back to Worksop, despite it raining on and off throughout the day. 
Twenty-two people took part in the walk over the four days, ten of these still be at Primary School.  Only one of the group, John, aged 12, completed the entire The Cuckoo Way, in fact, walking 51 miles in the four days.  The youngest in the group is 10 years old and he completed 41¼ miles in four days and brought his granddad with him on the last day.

Many of the group were being sponsored, raising about £1000 between them.  This has been donated to various charities, including B.A.R.K., RSPCA, MS Society, Comic Relief and a Special Care Baby Unit and some have put the money raised towards their Adventure Week taking place in August. 

Chesterfield Canal Trust Website