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History

Campaigning with David Bellamy in the early daysCampaigning with David Bellamy in the early days

We were formed in 1962 as Derbyshire Naturalists' Trust.

In the early 1960s a group of concerned people gathered together to oppose plans to tip fly ash at Ticknall Limeyards in South Derbyshire. Backed by national pressure, they were successful and decided to form a local charitable organisation to handle such issues. Derbyshire Naturalists' Trust was formed.

During the 1960s and 70s the Trust acquired many nature reserves including Overdale, which was the first that it owned outright, and Hilton Gravel Pits.

As it grew it was able to campaign more effectively and in 1984 hit the national headlines when it won a private prosecution against five men caught badger digging.

As the 1990s dawned successful fundraising led to the opening of the Whistlestop Centre, an education facility in the old railway station buildings at Matlock Bath. Later in the decade a major Heritage Lottery Fund award enabled us to develop our nature reserves work and set up our Midweek Volunteer Team.

We now manage 43 nature reserves and have over 14,000 members and 500 volunteers supporting our work around the county.