New Derbyshire nature reserve opens at shopping village

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s new reserve formally opens at Peak Shopping Village this weekend 14th September. The opening coincides with one of Peak Shopping Village’s events and visitors will be able to explore the new site for the first time.

The reserve is about the size of two football pitches and can be found on the banks of the Derwent, over the bridge at Peak Shopping Village.  Over the last few months, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s staff and volunteers have been working to turn the field into a richer haven for wildlife where a flower meadow, woodland, orchard and dry stone walling attract a wider variety of birds, animals and insects.

To celebrate the opening, the Trust will also be running free activities between 11 and 5pm on Saturday 14th September including river dipping - looking for small bugs and creatures which inhabit the water, hedgehog themed crafts and mini drystone walling.  The team are also delighted to talk to anyone who might be interested in volunteering to help look after the reserve.

Matthew Robinson, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Engagement Officer said: “It’s been fantastic watching this site take shape. We have been delighted to work with Peak Shopping Village to help them turn this area into a wildlife paradise.  Visitors will find a short trail to enjoy the different areas and information about the wildlife to look out for. An ornately carved bench also provides the perfect spot to watch kingfishers and dippers flying up and down the river.”

Kat Jacquin from Peak Shopping Village said: “After all the hard work by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and volunteers, we’re really excited to now invite people into the gorgeous new reserve and looking forward to seeing it evolve, for wildlife and people to enjoy.”

Over the coming years the woodland will grow, orchard become productive and wild flower areas bloom in the summer which Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Peak Shopping Village hope will encourage more wildlife to flourish and the reserve become an important place for families, shoppers and the community to enjoy.

Activities continue throughout the season at the reserve:

27th October - apple pressing in the orchard and build a bug hotel.

16th November -  bird themed activities, make a bird box for the nature reserve.

8th December - Christmas crafts. Make an Christmas wreath from natural materials, willow wands and star decorations.