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Derwent Valley

River Derwent, Kieron Huston River Derwent, Kieron Huston

The Derwent Valley and Derby is our largest Living Landscape, stretching over 55 miles.

At the heart of this Living Landscape is the River Derwent, but the area also covers surrounding moorland fringes and cloughs, stream and river tributaries, wooded valley sides, marshlands and many flower-rich grasslands as well as other smaller and more scattered habitats.

Bluebells and wild garlicThe Living Landscape has outstanding ancient woodlands and parklands with more than 1200 veteran trees, such as Shining Cliff Woods, Crich Chase, Lea Wood and Bow Wood. These woodlands support spectacular displays of wildflowers including bluebells, wild garlic and wood anemone, while lesser spotted woodpeckers and pied flycatchers are among the birds that breed in the ancient woodland and parkland.

The River Derwent rises in the moorlands and is initially dammed to form the Howden, Derwent and Ladybower Reservoirs. The river is considered by the Environment Agency to be of good quality from its source to the confluence of the River Amber. Among the wildlife along the river are mayflies, caddisflies, otters and - in the northern stretches - water voles. In Derby City, native white-clawed crayfish can still be found on the Markeaton Brook, while birds of the river include mute swans, little grebes and kingfishers.

Lower Derwent Valley

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is leading a large partnership in the Lower Derwent Valley and is in the process of developing an ambitious new project. Find out more about DerwentWISE.

Photos: © Bluebells and wild garlic, Kieron Huston