Derbyshire science company and charity urge folk to “walk this way” to mark 55-mile route’s 20th birthday
A Derbyshire charity has teamed up with a science company to hold an open walking weekend marking a picturesque hiking trail’s 20th birthday.
Science company Lubrizol, whose UK headquarters is based at Hazelwood near Belper, has joined forces with the Derwent Valley Trust to hold an open walking weekend on July 9 and 10 celebrating the beauty of the 55-mile “Heritage Way” which runs from Ladybower Reservoir down to Shardlow in South Derbyshire.
Anyone who enjoys the outdoors and is keen to discover a beautiful walking trail on their doorstep is invited to come along and enjoy the Heritage Way where it passes from the pretty village of Whatstandwell to Belper.
To keep youngsters amused, recently recruited volunteer rangers have created a special ‘nail trail’ featuring different letters which – when all are collected – are an anagram for two words.
Anyone who finds the words can then enter a prize draw for the chance to win one of four £25 Love 2 Shop vouchers.
Claire Hollingshurst, quality systems manager for Lubrizol, said: “We hope that as many people as possible will come along to enjoy the walking weekend on one of the most beautiful sections of the lovely Heritage Way trail. Everyone is welcome to come and join us to enjoy a peaceful walk in the countryside, take part in the Nail Trail, and celebrate the beauty of our lovely county of Derbyshire.”
This year the Derwent Valley Trust held a recruitment drive for volunteer rangers to help maintain the Heritage Way walking route, which passes through some of the county’s loveliest scenery including sections of the Cromford Canal, the Chatsworth Estate, Hathersage, Matlock Bath and Baslow.
The route along the River Derwent, which is signposted with eye-catching purple and yellow way markers, was set up in 2002. Two decades later, in 2022, the trust appealed for volunteer rangers to help with maintenance after the route saw more wear and tear due to increased numbers of people going out walking in the countryside during Covid lockdowns.
So many people stepped forward to help maintain the Heritage Way that it now has a full team of committed rangers who regularly walk their section of the trail to ensure it is carefully maintained and fully accessible for walkers to enjoy.
Derek Latham, chair of the Derwent Valley Trust which set up the Heritage Way, said: “We are holding this walking weekend to celebrate the existence of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. By having this event every year, we can promote this lovely walk and attract people to come and enjoy it. It will be a good time for those who are maintaining it for the use of the general public to celebrate the fact that the Heritage Way is now being properly looked after.
“Lots of people have walked parts of the Heritage Way but don’t realise it’s actually a connected route that goes right the way through 55 miles – that’s the joy of it.
“Ultimately, we’d like to think that this weekend’s celebration as it grows each year will eventually cover the whole length of the way, from the Ladybower reservoir to Shardlow Inland Port, and it will encourage people to do it. We would like it to be something people are aware of. We hope it will seep into the collective psyche that this route exists and it’s worth celebrating. There are so many beautiful Derbyshire attractions, such as the Heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath and the Chatsworth estate, that can be accessed from this one route. I think that’s probably unique.”
Members of the public are invited to come along between 10am and 4pm on July 9 and 10 and have a walk along the route. People can come to any of three locations: Whatstandwell (postcode DE45EE); The Birches woods, run by The Woodland Trust (postcode DE562GX) or Wyver Lane in Belper, (postcode DE562UB). To find out more about the Heritage Way, see www.derwentvalleytrust.org.uk/walk/
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