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Restored walking route unveiled for Ecclesbourne Valley

Tuesday 4th July 2017

Ecclesbourne Valley, Kath StapleyEcclesbourne Valley, Kath Stapley

An eleven mile long trail for walkers has been created along the entire length of the Ecclesbourne River, from its source in Wirksworth to its confluence with the Derwent in Duffield, thanks to the Accessing Nature project.

The Ecclesbourne Way will be officially unveiled by the Right Hon. Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP on the 8th of July near Shottle Station, one of several train stations along the route.

The £26,684.68 project brought together twelve partners to create a ramblers’ trail by restoring existing footpaths, creating information panels and placing countless waymarkers along the route to reconnect people to their natural environment, giving them an appreciation and rare enjoyment of this beautiful part of Derbyshire. Walkers will see wetlands, woodlands, hills, farmland and spectacular viewpoints. There is also a diversion leading to Alport Height on National Trust land which is wonderful for great views and family picnics.

Kath Stapley, the Living Rivers Officer for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, who is leading the project said, “The Ecclesbourne Way Project has been a wonderful partnership project, with so many people and organisations involved in making it a success. It’s a lovely route through a largely unknown gem of Derbyshire countryside with a variety of wildlife and I hope that people will enjoy walking it for many years to come.”

John Snell, Chairman of WyvernRail plc, the parent company of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, said “We are delighted to be a partner in the creation of the Ecclesbourne Way and look forward to furthering its development by providing access services for users of the Way. The two mile section between our stations at Shottle and Hazelwood, for example, provides the opportunity for family groups to sample a section of the Way through delightful countryside as part of a wider day out.”

“Local Ramblers felt that the development of a waymarked, leafleted walking route from Duffield to Wirksworth would help promote countryside access “said John Morrissey of Amber Valley Ramblers, “and we think the Ecclesbourne Way could deliver health benefits and help contribute to rural tourism with benefits for farmers, landowners and small businesses.”

Pete Sessions of SUEZ Communities Trust added: "Our Accessing Nature fund aimed to improve opportunities for people to experience and be close to nature, and that is exactly what this project has achieved. By improving way-markers and interpretation visitors can be sure to enjoy the spectacular array of wildlife which calls the Ecclesbourne home."

The project partners are, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Suez Communities Trust, Wirksworth Town Council, Severn Trent Water, Banister Trust, Duffield Parish Council, Foundation Derbyshire, National Trust, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Amber Valley Ramblers, Derbyshire County Council and the Environment Agency. This project has been made possible thanks to a £14,416.37 grant from Suez Communities Trust and an additional £12,268.31 match funding provided by the project partners.

Click here for more information about the project, or for details of previous work along the River Ecclesbourne, please visit our website