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Come and Explore Darley Open Spaces

Tuesday 27th June 2017

Darley Open Spaces, Alison GrimwoodDarley Open Spaces, Alison Grimwood

Discover the history of Darley and Derwent Parks, Dean’s Field, Chester Green Playing Fields and Community Centre, Chester Green and Parker’s Piece

Darley Open Spaces, framing the River Derwent as it approaches Derby, has ten 'official' entrances. Not everyone, however, knows what there is to explore beyond these entrances.



The Friends of Darley Open Spaces (FoDOS), working with Strutt’s Park Residents’ Association, Darley Abbey Historical Group, Little Chester Local History Group, Derby City Council and the DerwentWISE project, have created orientation boards to highlight the main attractions. Interesting facts and images tell the story of the site and how it was used by the people who came before us. Each board is numbered so pick a different entrance every time and explore previously unknown parts of the Open Spaces. The boards are already giving visitors a much deeper appreciation of this beautiful green and open space.


You can see all the boards on or on the Derby City Council website.

FoDOS started the Welcome Board project in 2013 and created and installed the first one at North Parade with the help of Strutt’s Park Residents’ Association in 2015. Working with the DerwentWISE Landscape Partnership since July 2014, and Derby City Council, FoDOS was able to link the idea for the next nine interpretation and orientation boards to a wider management plan for Darley Park. It fitted well with the other DerwentWISE projects, all subject to community consultations, to enhance the visitor experience and make this historic and natural landscape more accessible and appropriately managed. The Open Spaces have benefitted from the introduction of a community stone mosaic art installation in the Hydrangea Garden, the opening up the views of the Derwent River and the iconic view of the Darley Abbey mills and controlled management of tree species by conservation volunteers.

The DerwentWISE project is a landscape scale Heritage Lottery Funded project managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust which restores habitats and industrial heritage within the Lower Derwent Valley. For more information about the DerwentWISE project please visit For more information about FoDOS please visit