Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is one of 47 local Wildlife Trusts around the UK working to promote and protect local wildlife. It covers the whole of Derbyshire and was founded in 1962 in response to environmental threats to the local countryside, since when it has continued to grow. The Trust is now based at East Mill on the River Derwent in the town of Belper, Derbyshire. It is a Registered Charity (Number 222212), supported by more than 14,000 members and over 500 volunteers.[1]

The Trust manages 42 nature reserves[2] covering 630 hectares (1,600 acres) throughout the county, from flooded gravel pits in the south to moorland and upland woodland in the north. Fourteen of these are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The Trust also works with schools, local communities, local authorities, landowners and others to promote and protect the natural environment. Environmental education and workshops are provided at the Avenue Washlands Visitor Centre, the Whistlestop Centre, and the Wildlife Discovery Room at Carsington Water.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has a ‘Living Landscape’ approach to nature conservation. By working with local businesses, landowners, communities and individuals on habitat restoration and enhancement projects throughout the county, it is hoped landscape scale conservation will create a healthier environment for wildlife, the local economy and people.


The Trust originated 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 officially launched.[3]

By 1967, the Trust had established two nature reserves, one of them at Ticknall Limeyards itself. The other, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Morley Brickyards, was leased to the Trust by its owner and is still being managed as a nature reserve. The Trust also acquired Overdale, the first nature reserve that it owned outright. The 15 hectares (37 acres) of upland pasture were donated by Portland Cement to mark European Conservation Year. A bequest allowed the Trust to appoint its first member of staff in 1973.

As the Trust 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. After rebranding to become Derbyshire Wildlife Trust in 1986, the organisation became the focus of attention again the following year when it launched an appeal to raise £200,000 to renovate the old railway station buildings at Matlock Bath and create the Whistlestop Countryside Centre, an education facility in the old railway station buildings at Matlock Bath. Later in the decade a major Heritage Lottery Fund award enabled the Trust to develop more nature reserves work and set up a Midweek Volunteer Team.

In 2007 the Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve near Chesterfield was opened and won first place in the Conservation category for Restoration Sites in the British Trust for Ornithology’s Business Bird Challenge. In the same year, a Lottery grant allowed the trust to extend its educational programme with Grounds for a Change, transforming Derbyshire school grounds into wildlife havens and outdoor learning spaces. It also took over management of Drakelow Nature Reserve in the south of the county, an important wetland site playing host to over 200 species of birds.

In recent years the Trust has launched and developed a variety of projects aimed at protecting and raising awareness of vulnerable species and habitats. More recent projects have included Derby Cathedral’s Peregrines Project, Great Trees of Derbyshire and Saving the Great Trees of Derbyshire, projects which have raised awareness of the importance of ancient trees, and Water for Wildlife which has helped to restore wetland habitats.


Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees, elected from and by the 14,000+ members. The Trust employs around 26 members of experienced staff to run the Trust and carry out conservation and education projects. Volunteers are essential to the work of the Trust. They help with many aspects including nature reserves, administration and education work. The Trust currently has around 500 volunteers.[1]

List of nature reserves

  • The Avenue Washlands
  • Barton Pool
  • Broadhurst Edge Wood
  • Brockholes Wood SSSI
  • Carr Vale
  • Carvers Rocks SSSI
  • Chee Dale SSSI
  • Cramside Wood SSSI
  • Cromford Canal LNR/SSSI
  • Deep Dale and Topley Pike SSSI
  • Derwentside
  • Drakelow
  • Duckmanton Railway Cutting SSSI
  • Erewash Meadows
  • Gang Mine
  • Golden Brook Storage Lagoon
  • Hadfields Quarry
  • Hartington Meadows
  • Hillbridge and Park Woods
  • Hilton Gravel Pits SSSI
  • Hollinhill and Markland Grips
  • Holly Wood
  • Hopton Quarry SSSI
  • Ladybower Wood SSSI
  • Lea Wood
  • Lock Lane Ash Tip
  • Long Clough
  • Mapperley Wood
  • Miller’s Dale Quarry SSSI
  • Morley Brickyards SSSI
  • North Wingfield
  • Oakerthorpe LNR
  • Overdale
  • Priestcliffe Lees SSSI
  • Risley Glebe
  • Rose End Meadows
  • Rowsley Sidings
  • Spring Wood SSSI
  • Watford Lodge LNR
  • Willington Gravel Pits
  • Woodside
  • Wyver Lane


  1. 1 2 "Annual Review 2011–12" (PDF). Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  2. "Nature Reserves list". Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  3. "History". Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/17/2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.