£2.3M plan to restore world heritage site

Hi ' 'This Photo taken in Derwent Valley taken in July 2012' 'Thanks David Fletcher
Hi ' 'This Photo taken in Derwent Valley taken in July 2012' 'Thanks David Fletcher

A £2.3million project to improve the landscape of the historic Derwent Valley has taken a step forward.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is leading work to conserve and enhance the cultural landscape of the lower Derwent Valley – including the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Now, the county council has boosted the scheme by agreeing to join the DerwentWISE Landscape Partnership that will help the wildlife trust develop a detailed bid for significant Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant assistance towards the total cost.

The council is one of 15 organisations set to help with the bid which has to be submitted next month (May) with a decision expected in September.

Strategic Director, Martin Molloy,said: “The proposed programme will help contribute to the World Heritage Site Management Plan, which aims to conserve and promote the Derwent Valley Mills for their own sake and to attract many new visitors to the area.”

The HLF has already approved the application subject to detail of the five-year programme covering the valley from Matlock Bath through Cromford and Belper, down to Derby.

The aims is to conserve and restore natural and historic features, increase community participation in local heritage, increase access to and learning about the valley’s heritage and provide training opportunities in local heritage skills. Proposed work includes opening up iconic views, managing woodland, repairing historic field barns and dry stone walls and conserving archaeology and protecting wildlife.

To promote healthy lifestyles and conservation skills, the partners will encourage volunteers, children and families to help with the work.