I did this walk with my boyfriend a month or so ago, on a lovely sunny day, and we did enjoy the walk, and felt a sense of accomplishment walking to Meadowhall when we would usually take the tram! However, the walk really really needs better maintenance. Several parts of the walk, including the 'spider bridge' seemed to have been fenced off for work sometime in the past, and the fencing has been torn aside or stepped on so people can get past. At times we weren't sure if we should be on these parts, but it seemed most people were just stepping over the fences (bit dangerous, as there is bits of wire sticking up from them) and using them, so we did as well. There were no signs giving an alternative route round these 'fenced off' areas, so it was either that or give up on the walk!
While we very much enjoyed the parts of the walk along the river, the parts that take you past run down warehouses and along roads are not so enjoyable. The signage is poor in places and we got lost a couple of times or had to guess where to go next. I would definatley not reccomend walking the route by yourself or with young children, it didn't feel too safe. Other negatives are the entrance to the route, hidden away by the wicker arch with a tiny sign to tell you it's the start of the walk, and the information boards along the walk, which once may have told you about the weirs and the wildlife, but are now mostley vandalised.
Like I said, apart from all these negatives we did enjoy the walk- it would just be so much better if these things were adressed. It seems very much like they made it and then forgot about it. Wildlife wise it was much more successful- we saw a huge heron, a couple of kingfishers, fish, ducks and dragonflies. We took sandwiches thinking to find a nice spot to stop by the river- there aren't really any. We stopped on a bench in a little park by the river, which would have been nice apart from the cig ends and empty cans of energy drink littering the park.
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