chesterfield volunteers

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.

Posted in Featured, Home, Leisure, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , ,

Derbyshire Voluntary Action welcomes new recruit to help Chesterfield residents feel more connected

Debbie Fennell has joined Derbyshire Voluntary Action in the newly-created role of ‘Social Connectedness Development Worker.’

Derbyshire Voluntary Action is a membership organisation for North Derbyshire’s health and wellbeing related voluntary and community sector. North Derbyshire spans the districts of High Peak, Derbyshire Dales, Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and Bolsover.

Through specialist infrastructure services, the organisation actively engages with and support 320+ members, which range from tiny volunteer-led self-help groups through to local and regional charities delivering projects to the benefit of large numbers of Derbyshire residents.

Debbie joins the DVA team to play a key role in the ‘Feeling Connected in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield’ project – an initiative to improve local approaches to tackling social isolation and reducing the impact of loneliness.

Debbie, who describes herself as a ‘people person,’ has nine years’ experience of working in the voluntary and community sector, most recently as a Project Coordinator at Age Concern Chesterfield and District, where she was responsible for the ‘Active Age’ project.

In her new role, she will work out and about in communities across Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, supporting residents and communities to create and take up opportunities to be better socially connected.

Debbie says, ‘My role is about building relationships with people who want to make a difference in their street, estate, village, town or workplace – and to be responsive in helping them in whatever way they need. It’s a challenging time to be starting a job like this, but even in lockdown there are many ways we can all keep our spirits up and continue to connect with family, friends and the people who live around us.’

If you have ideas about keeping your community connected this winter, Debbie would love to hear from you. Call her on 07547 342251, email debbie@dva.org.uk or find her on Facebook: FeelingConnectedNEDC.

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

 

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

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