chesterfield canal trust

Popular Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival set to return this September

A popular Walking festival in which participants get to explore some of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire’s most stunning scenery is returning in September 2022.

The fourth Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival will run from 10th to 18th September, with 40 walks on offer varying from a couple of miles, to the full 46 miles of the canal over three consecutive days.

Event organiser, Chesterfield Canal Trust once again believes it to be the largest canal-focused walking festival in the country, with more walks and walkers than any other.

The canal towpath is officially designated the Cuckoo Way and it runs from Chesterfield to the River Trent, through Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire. There are walks taking place at various locations along its full length.

The Trust’s Cuckoo Way officer, David Blackburn said: “We look forward to seeing old friends again and hope to welcome many newcomers too. We believe that our 46 mile long canal has parts that are as attractive as any in the country. Do take the opportunity to join a walk in an area with which you are not familiar, and you will hopefully be pleasantly surprised.”

This extensive programme covers many popular areas – though perhaps using one or two different paths to previous years.

Some walks will take you through lovely countryside, others have special interest such as architecture and steam trains; one includes a visit to a football stadium. Most of the walks end near a café or a pub, and most are easily accessible by public transport.

No Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival would be complete without the very popular Boats & Boots that combine a walk with a ride on one of the Trust’s trip boats.

The Trust is very grateful to the walk leaders and those who assist them, representing many different groups and organisations, for devising checking and leading the walks. It extends especial thanks to its sponsors – Harworth Group, Canal & River Trust, Derbyshire Grants Programme, Eckington Parish Council and West Stockwith Parish Council.

Anyone wanting to participate in a walk must book in advance, either online or by ringing 01246 477569. All events taking place as part of the festival are free except those that involve a boat trip. More information can be found on the Chesterfield Canal Trust Website at: https://chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk/

Chesterfield Canal Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Children learn more about the Staveley Town Deal

60 local school children visited the canal where they learnt more about the projects being funded through the Staveley Town Deal.

Year six pupils from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School were taken on a trip along the Chesterfield Canal by the Chesterfield Canal Trust after speaking with Ivan Fomin Chair of the Staveley Town Deal Board about how the funding will change the town and canal.

Ivan Fomin, Chair of the Staveley Town Deal Board, said: “It was fantastic to go along and meet these pupils and tell them more about the Town Deal. They had some really great questions and ideas. It’s really important that we engage with everyone about the town deal but particularly important to speak to young people because we want to build a town where they can live, grow and pursue a great career.”

During the visit the pupils travelled along the canal onboard The Madeline through the new Staveley Lock, before walking the length of the canal from Staveley canal basin to Tapton Lock. They also learnt about how the canal has changed over the past 100 years and how it will continue to change with funding through the Town Deal.

Geography field trips like this one are used to observe and record the physical and human geography features of the locations. The geographical focus on this trip was the land use in each area.

Over £25m worth of projects which will benefit Staveley residents for generations to come have been given the official go ahead, after Government approved the package of all eleven projects within the Staveley Town Deal Programme.

It is a significant milestone for the range of projects that will receive funding through the Towns Fund, which are being delivered by a variety of organisations including Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Staveley Town Council, Barrow Hill Community Trust, Chesterfield Canal Trust, Staveley Miners Welfare Football Club and Tawnywood Ltd.

Together the projects offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the quality of life for residents, create new employment opportunities with higher level skills, ensure it is a place where everyone can be proud to live and guarantee that the town and its residents have a bright future ahead – supporting Staveley as a place to start, stay and grow.

Find out more about regeneration in Staveley at: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/developments/staveley/

Chesterfield Canal Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Tapton Lock Festival set to bring the Chesterfield community together

The charity behind Chesterfield’s Tapton Lock Festival says it is set to return this year, offering free family fun for residents and visitors.

Taking place along the banks of the Chesterfield canal on the weekend of Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September, the event celebrates the great outdoors and the incredible wildlife on our doorstep in North Derbyshire.

This year’s festival, organised by Junction Arts will feature activities and entertainment, including a climbing wall and canoeing, art workshops and live performances.

Attendees will also be able to take a trip aboard the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s trip boat, John Varley II.

This year, organisers are welcoming back the captivating bubbleologist, while on Sunday, the event will host children’s puppet shows and performances by Bee Guides Bombus and Borage and their amazing Bee Cart.

Hosted in partnership with the Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service, this festival is the first large event that Junction Arts has been able to run since March 2020. Having worked hard to continue their support to care homes, schools and families at a distance, the team is back running events and workshops face-to-face again, offering people the opportunity to be creative and empowering lives.

Hannah Bowdler, Relationship Fundraiser for Junction Arts said: “This year, Junction Arts is on a mission to bring our communities back together safely, through its calendar of exciting events. They see how involvement in creative and social activities and interaction within our communities alleviates loneliness, anxiety and stress, and you are invited to benefit from this too!”

Festival organisers are asking local people to become a sponsor of the Tapton Lock Festival, by donating what they can to help bring our communities back together safely. For more information, visit: www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/TaptonLockFestival2021

Junction Arts supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Dozens help with Chesterfield Canal clean ups

Fifteen volunteers helped to tidy-up one of Chesterfield’s best outdoor spaces last month, with Chesterfield Litter Picking Group and Chesterfield Canal Trust working together to get rid of litter and debris along the canal.

The team got together for the effort on Saturday 24th April, including several canoeists and paddleboarders, who did a superb job clearing the towpath and the canal above Tapton Lock in Chesterfield in the morning. They even removed debris that had got stuck on tree branches in floods.

They saw lots of newly hatched ducklings and even a newt that was found under an old mattress along the bank.

The volunteers also intend to make contact with the companies backing onto the water to encourage them to refrain from dumping their rubbish onto the banks.

In the afternoon, a second group totalling 35 people of all ages, tackled the currently unrestored section of the canal in Renishaw. They cleared a huge amount of rubbish, mostly drinks bottles and cans, but also a tyre, a roadsign, a fire extinguisher and a garden seat. A large elm tree that had collapsed into the canal was cut up and cleared.

This group also cleared vegetation along half a mile of towpath stretching from Main Road Bridge right back to Hague Lane. This is usually impassable in the summer because it gets smothered in brambles, but it is more pleasant for walkers than the adjacent the Trans-Pennine Trail.

This clear-up will be repeated on the last Saturday afternoon of every month. The Chesterfield Canal Trust is keen to set up a group of local volunteers in Renishaw who will eventually manage their section of the canal and look after the adjacent woodland and fishing pond.

In the autumn, the Trust is set to start a major project at Renishaw, making good a previous restoration attempt and extending it to a total of 1,000 metres. This will eventually link up to the Doe Lea Valley restoration section for which the Trust has recently received planning permission.

When all these works are finished, probably sometime in 2024, it will extend the restored canal in Derbyshire from 5 miles to 7½ miles. The highlight will be a 37 metre long aqueduct, nearly 10 metres above the River Doe Lea.

Besides providing a wonderful towpath for walkers, cyclists and mobility scooter users, it will give new fishing grounds. Opportunities for the hire of boats, canoes, paddleboards and cycles will be created. There will be a need for refreshments and it will attract people to the area, thereby benefitting local businesses.

Kath Auton, the Trust’s Membership Secretary, said: “Today has been wonderful. We have met so many local people who are keen to help get the canal restored and back in water. It will be a real asset to Renishaw. I can’t wait for the next clear-up on May 29th.”

Chesterfield Canal Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Plans to restore further stretch of Chesterfield Canal approved

Plans to restore the Chesterfield Canal by 1.6 miles have been approved. This will extend the navigable section in Derbyshire by a third from Staveley almost to Renishaw. It will include a 37m long aqueduct almost 10m above the River Doe Lea.

There remains lots of preparation to be done, but there should be works on the ground by the end of this year or early in 2022.

The restored canal currently ends at Eckington Road Bridge in Staveley, where the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s volunteer Work Party has built a new lock and restored a further 300m of canal. The new section will go through a disused railway line and across the Doe Lea Valley on the Staveley Puddlebank. This is a huge embankment nearly 800m long and up to 10m high that was a wonder of the age when constructed in 1776. The canal then turns north and runs parallel to the Doe Lea to the borough boundary.

The towpath will be a 3m wide all-user trail alongside the canal, so walkers, cyclists and mobility scooter users will be able to join boaters, canoeists and paddleboarders in enjoying the new route.

The application was submitted by the Chesterfield Canal Trust through its Development Manager, George Rogers. Although endorsed by lots of members of the public and numerous organisations including the Ramblers, Chesterfield Cycle Campaign and Chesterfield Civic Society, HS2 Ltd. objected. The canal runs underneath HS2’s proposed line to a maintenance depot. However, negotiations with HS2 earlier in the year led to the objection being withdrawn, leaving the way clear for council approval.

Chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, Peter Hardy, said: “We are delighted that our planning application has been approved. This is a substantial step on the path to achieving our ambition of reopening the canal fully by 2027. We would like to put on record our thanks to our many supporters and partners who have backed us so far and who we know will stick by us in the exciting years ahead.”

The Trust is hoping to start its Rewatering Renishaw project in the coming months, which will bring a further 1,000m of canal back to life. This will mean that there could be a total of 7½ miles of canal from Chesterfield to Renishaw by the end of 2023.

Once this has been achieved, lots of opportunities for tourism will open up including the hire of dayboats, weekend boats, canoes, paddleboards and cycles. There will be a need for more pubs and cafés, and anglers will be delighted by new opportunities.

At the same time, Staveley Town Basin, now renamed Staveley Waterside, will be developed by Derbyshire County Council and there are plans for a whole new village on the old Staveley Works site, including a hotel and small marina.

Rod Auton, Publicity Officer for the Trust, said: “The next few years will see an incredible transformation along the canal which will bring a massive economic boost to the area. It is our hope that the Chesterfield Waterside development will also continue, including opening the canal basin. This would connect the town directly into the beautiful, green and tranquil oasis that is the Chesterfield Canal.”

Chesterfield Canal Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

 

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Funding given to restore stretch of Chesterfield Canal at Renishaw

£50,000 has been awarded to a project aimed at restoring and extending a derelict canal channel in Renishaw. The ‘Rewatering Renishaw’ scheme will transform the stretch into a permanent water space that local people can enjoy.

Approximately 500m of the Chesterfield Canal channel was restored through Renishaw, Derbyshire in 2010, as part of a housing development. However, due to various issues, the stretch proved to be unuseable. It delivered little benefit to the newly created community on the housing estate and the wider Renishaw community.

This project is part of Phase 1 of the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s ambition to restore the canal to full navigation by 2027. This will be the 250th anniversary of the canal’s original opening. The complete Phase 1 works will extend the current limit of navigation from the town of Staveley to the village of Renishaw. They will also include the construction of three new accommodation bridges, four new bridleway bridges, a lock, a railway overbridge, an aqueduct and approximately 5km of new or restored channel.

The entire Phase 1 of the project will take several years to complete. It will require over £4m to be raised. The works at Renishaw (Phase 1a) can be completed much earlier and provide lasting benefits to the community. These will be felt long before either the Phase 1 works are completed, or it forms part of a fully restored waterway. This lasting and standalone benefit from an interim restoration stage is a prime example of the Waterways in Progress philosophy.

The grant, with additional funding from Chesterfield Canal Trust and Derbyshire County Council, will allow the trust to undertake the following Phase 1a work:

  • 550m of canal channel re-profiled to navigable standards.
  • 1,050m of canal channel relined using a geosynthetic clay liner.
  • 250m of stone gabions installed in the canal banks and waterproofed by casting a concrete face up to the water level.
  • Clinker Wood side weir restored and a temporary pumping system provided to supply water from the River Rother to the canal.
  • 550m of towpath resurfaced, making it suitable for pedestrians and cyclists. The current path is virtually impassable despite being the official public right of way.
  • A further 915m of towpath resurfaced to provide a circular 2.5km surfaced route incorporating the Trans-Pennine Trail.
  • Eight picnic benches, made from recycled plastic. These will be installed across two locations along with three standard benches in other areas of the scheme. Two of the picnic benches will be suitable for wheelchair users.
  • Installation of signage to encourage users of the Trans-Pennine Trail to explore the canal and the village. Plus the provision of 12 cycle stands to allow cyclists to secure their bikes.
    Additional Works
  • Alongside the above works, the project partners plan to deliver the following additional works to futureproof the canal for navigation:
  • 210m of concrete and masonry wash walling constructed around Black’s Pit corner, in order to protect the banks around this tight turn.
  • 285m of steel piling installed to the south of Barlborough Road Bridge, to provide future visitor moorings.

Trust Secretary Rod Auton said: “This is great news for the Trust and even better news for the residents of Renishaw. The canal looked great when first restored in 2009, but has since become an eyesore. We will now be able to restore and extend it on both sides of Barlborough Road and keep it looking wonderful with a regular water supply. It is even possible that it could be connected to Chesterfield within a couple of years, if the necessary funding can be secured.”

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