Amber Valley Ramblers Derbyshire

Leading the way in Amber Valley

Working with the National Trust and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

The opening shot shows a dark and misty morning at this familiar scenic spot it was however much better than we could have possibly expected at this time of year being dry with no wind and soon light levels increased as the mist receded to lower levels. Today we were working with the Wildlife Trust again and for the first time with the National Trust, each had a team of five and a splendid array of tools.

Our task today was the placement of three fingerposts to show the whereabouts of the new concessionary path we were to make on the National Trust land, this to become a feature in a loop from the Ecclesbourne Way. The Wildlife Trust and National Trust teams surveyed the area as two possible starting points for the path had been identified also the path had to pass but not hinder a badger set with a number of tunnels. Having deliberated over the route the National Trust team leader started us off by cutting a swathe through with his brush cutter and then we all set to work with our team fitting in and working with the others as though we had done it on many an occasion.

The outline concessionary path thus started was widened by cutting back thick gorse and it was seen that dips, stones, stumps had to be dealt with so the path was contoured to give a good passage for walkers.
The mid part of the path was provided with steps and It was interesting for us to see how the National Trust team did these to a sturdy design. Whilst the path was being fashioned the finger posts were situated where the path met the two lanes.
Once the concessionary path work was almost completed, the team split to continue work on the Alport Stone site opposite, clearing an existing overgrown footpath of gorse, widening it and improving access. The historic remains of gate stones were given prominence as shown. The Alport Stone itself was clear and our work gave a nicely cut route along to it, with the National Trust Site Manager declaring it all a worthy effort with which we concluded a successful days work.

It will be of interest to readers that in conversation with the National Trust Site Manager we learnt that regular litter picking takes place at the car park but as visitors will know litter is a constant disfigurement there. Despite budget cuts, it is hoped that an automatic gate will be fitted to the car park along with CCTV to try and reduce this menace to such a scenic spot.

The work will continue with a few finishing touches, including the steps being stone filled and way markers added to the fingerposts, all of which we can expect to make one of our scenic spots even better for visitors.

pw1pw2pw3pw4pw5pw6pw7pw8p9pictures and text by Peter W. with thanks

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Friday, April 27, 2018