Chesterfield canal

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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£5 million restoration confirmed for Chesterfield Canal as part of Staveley Town Deal

The Chesterfield Canal Trust says it is delighted to have been awarded £5.3 million from the Staveley Town Deal Fund.

The funding means that over the next three years, the canal will be extended by half a mile from Hartington Harbour onto the Staveley Puddlebank which runs across the Doe Lea valley.

There will also be two miles of multi-use towpath all the way to Renishaw. There will be a new lock and two new bridges, and a siphon pipe to take the water from Staveley Waterside (the new name for Staveley Town Basin) to the new canal section. In addition, full designs will be prepared for further work.

Peter Hardy, Chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust said: “Our scheme will bring enormous benefits to the residents of Staveley and surrounding areas with the extension of the canal from Staveley Waterside almost to the river Doe Lea. Together with the other projects awarded money from the Towns Fund, it will enhance the environment, health and wellbeing of all who live in the area.

“It will be the catalyst for the Chesterfield Canal Trust to complete the restoration of the canal.

“We are indebted to the local company Suon Ltd. which has donated the clay to be used in this project; without this generosity the scheme would not have been possible.”

The Trust further hopes to complete the canal restoration through to Renishaw. This will include the spectacular Doe Lea aqueduct, planned to be 37 metres long and 10 metres above river level.

The Trust’s volunteer Work Party has already started its Rewatering Renishaw project which will bring another half-mile of canal back to life. The aim is to join the two projects together finishing up with an extra 2½ miles of canal in the next few years.

For the next few months, the Trust’s Project Team, led by Mark Potter, will be making detailed preparations, preparing tender documents, appointing staff, and awarding contracts.

The first actual construction work will be the new Trans-Pennine Trail bridge, just east of the existing Eckington Road Bridge. This is scheduled to start early next year. The main earth moving to rebuild the Puddlebank will not start until 2024.

The Trust appointed George Rogers as its Development Manager just under three years ago. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to get the restoration to this point. Upon hearing the news of the award his reaction was “Now the hard work starts!”

The Trust has expressed its gratitude for all the support that it has received from Chesterfield Borough Council, the Staveley Town Deal Board, Derbyshire County Council, Lee Rowley MP, Toby Perkins MP, countless councillors and, perhaps most importantly, its membership and the local people in whose hearts the canal holds a very special place.

Chesterfield Canal Trust and Suon Ltd. support 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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Canal Walking Festival ready to set off this weekend

The biggest walking festival based on a single canal in the country is all set and ready to start on Saturday 11th September. The Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival will comprise of 41 walks in all, with the last one on Sunday 19th September.

The walks cover the whole of the canal’s 46 miles from Chesterfield to West Stockwith on the River Trent. They vary from a one mile stroll to a full twenty miles. Much of the scenery is beautiful, none more so than the Giant’s Staircase of 22 locks in just over a mile between Kiveton and Shireoaks that features in several of the walks.

The festival is organised by the Chesterfield Canal Trust, whose Walks Officer, David Blackburn, said: “After last year’s cancellation, we are delighted to be back. The canal is an absolute delight at any time of year, but early Autumn possibly sees it at its best.”

There are special interest walks, such as Wildlife, History, Architecture, Archaeology and Restoration. There are opportunities to explore some of the attractive towns and villages in North Nottinghamshire or you can combine a walk with a cruise on one of the Trust’s trip boats. There is even the opportunity to learn about Geocaching, whilst enjoying the delights of the canal.

New this year is the opportunity to earn sponsorship money for your favourite cause by towing the Trust’s replica Cuckoo boat. There is even a cycle ride with a difference. Waterway and railway enthusiasts will relish the opportunity of a canal and river walk finishing up at Britain’s last surviving working Railway Roundhouse at Barrow Hill.

Pride of place goes to the 20 mile Restoration Walk from Chesterfield to Worksop. This covers the 12 miles of canal that have been restored since 1989 and the 8 miles that are yet to be re-awakened.

All the walks are free except for those combined with a boat. They must be booked in advance, either online via the Trust’s website – search for Chesterfield Canal Trust – or by ringing 01246 477569. A brochure with full details is available at various places along the canal, including Hollingwood Hub and local Tourist Information Centres. It is also available online. Some walks are already full, so it is advisable to book now to avoid disappointment.

Obviously all the walks will be subject to the latest Covid advice, so participants should come prepared with a face covering, even if it will not actually be required.

The Chesterfield Canal Trust wishes to thank all the walk leaders, the many organisations which have helped and the festival’s sponsors: the Canal & River Trust, Avant Homes, Derbyshire County Council Action Grants and Eckington, Misterton and West Stockwith Parish Councils.

Find out more about the event at: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/chesterfield-canal-walking-festival/

Chesterfield Canal Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield Canal cruises to restart

Cruising on the Chesterfield Canal is back, thanks to the latest easing of lockdown restrictions this month.

With the scrapping of social distancing rules, the Chesterfield Canal Trust will be getting its fleet of four tripboats back into action.

First in line will be Madeline running trips from Hollingwood Hub in Staveley on Saturday 24th July. This will be followed by John Varley ll at Tapton Lock in Chesterfield on Sunday 25th.

Sunday will also see Hugh Henshall cruising from the Lock Keeper pub in Worksop and Seth Ellis hosting Pirate trips in Retford.

The Trust has a host of cruises lined up running from 20 minute taster trips to 6 hour cruises, including the popular Cake & Cruise and Strawberry Cream Tea cruise.

Sarah Stephens, the Trustee in charge of tripboats, said: “We have been running a few charter cruises with very strict Covid rules since May, but now our crews are delighted to be able to get back to our regular public trips.”

Altogether there are 17 different types and lengths of trips running from 8 different venues. Prices vary from £2 to £22.

To see the full list go to the Trust’s website by searching for Chesterfield Canal Trust. It is also possible to charter any of the boats for £60 an hour for up to 12 passengers.

All the boats will still be taking precautions such as proper cleaning regimes, hand sanitising and good ventilation. The wearing of masks will be welcome.

The Trust will also be partnering with Junction Arts and Derbyshire County Council this September, for the return of the popular Tapton Lock Festival.

The two-day event will include music and performance, along with giving attendees a chance to try their hands at arts and crafts.

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.

Chesterfield Canal event

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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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