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The village with a vision

Monday 9th January 2017

Hidden iconic view to be opened up at Matlock Bath, DerwentWISEHidden view at Matlock Bath, DerwentWISE

Opening up Iconic Views in Matlock Bath

The magnificent landscape of the Lower Derwent Valley has been an inspiration to artists and visitors for hundreds of years. The valley has a unique character containing a wide variety of landscapes, ancient woodlands, and a river that powered the industrial revolution and is a world heritage site.

Many of the historic sites in the Lower Derwent Valley have suffered over the last 30 years from the spread of non-native trees and lack of woodland management. This has led to the damage of many of the ancient structures in the valley or the covering up of sites and subsequent loss of views.

The Opening up Iconic Views project, as part of the DerwentWISE Landscape Partnership, aims to improve this situation by sensitively managing sites to create vistas and restore some of the important historic viewpoints. Work is due to begin in January 2017, in partnership with Derbyshire Dales District Council on a number of views in Matlock Bath, helped by a £500 grant from the District Council’s Local Projects Fund. 

People visit Matlock Bath to walk along the River Derwent, Lover’s Walk, and the Promenade. Self-set trees along North Parade will be removed from the river wall, and the large horse chestnuts will be pruned to restore views across the river for users of the paths. The trees behind the Pavilion will be pruned and thinned to prevent damage to the building and improve views from a number of locations. A small number of sycamore trees will be thinned and diseased trees removed along the river bank at Riversdale Green to the North of Matlock Bath. The view at the historic Artists Corner of the iconic High Tor crags will also be restored, again by removing non-native trees.

All of the work has been carefully planned and assessed to have minimum impact on biodiversity. Ceridwyn Adkins, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Ecologist said, “As part of this project, we surveyed the trees for protected species; none of the trees offered potential for roosting bats and the proposed works will be undertaken outside the breeding bird season. In addition, the trees have not been managed to their full potential and have created dense and heavy overhangs into the water as well as shading ground flora. Therefore the proposed works would benefit the locale as well, encouraging biodiversity to flourish”.

The work will bring trees at a number of sites into positive management, and improve the views of historic features for locals and visitors. Councillor Garry Purdy (Masson Ward) commented, “I am really indebted to the DerwentWISE team for their work in Matlock Bath on the treescape...much needed work to reduce self-set trees and overgrowth with the specific aim of bringing iconic views back into place for the benefit of the locals and visitors. The project has put a lot of hard work into this initiative and I trust the whole of the village will join me in thanking the team for this much needed work”.

Public views on the work are important to us, so if you would like to comment please contact the DerwentWISE team on 01773 881188 or