Sunday, September 24, 2023

Protect Derwent Valley: Become A ‘Weir Watcher’

Derbyshire’s Lower Derwent Valley has some of the most important historic weirs on the planet – now local people are being asked to help keep them safe for future generations.

DerwentWISE are looking for volunteers to be ‘Weir Watchers’ to help with monitoring and inspecting the weirs and watercourses. The weirs are part of the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, in which the world’s first modern factories used water power for large scale production.

Some of those weirs have been damaged over time, and a new project is being launched to keep a close eye on the structures until funding can be raised to restore them. Those interested in becoming a volunteer, or who wish to learn more about the project are invited to attend a public meeting on Tuesday 13th September 2016 in Room 16 at Strutt’s Community Centre, Derby Road, Belper, DE56 1UU between 5.30 pm and 8pm.

Weir Damage Photo: Adrian Farmer
Damage to the weir Photo: Adrian Farmer

The DerwentWISE Landscape Partnership, managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, aims to inspire people to learn about and take care of the landscape of the Lower Derwent Valley, which includes the World Heritage Site and is enabled by £2.5 million of funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

As one of 60 projects, DerwentWISE has appointed specialist hydraulic engineering consultancy JBA Consulting to undertake a condition survey and structural assessment of the Rock Weir below Belper Bridge, and the Foundry Weir at Milford. The work will be carried out between September and November 2016.

JBA Consulting will provide training to the volunteers to enable them to monitor and assess the condition and ‘health status’ of all the structures within the watercourses of the Derwent Valley.

David George

Former Editor of Derby's CAMRA Magazine Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green Founder, Transition Belper

3 thoughts on “Protect Derwent Valley: Become A ‘Weir Watcher’

  • Andrew Huskinson

    If the River Gardens Tea Room project can sell bricks why can we not have a fund to buy stones to mend the wier. Or to fund some divers to find the ones washed out?

    Surely its not too hard to mend the hole with a helpful builder or two.

    Laast decade it was only 4 stones. I said to Adrian of he had told me about it when I was Project Manager for Funding at the North Mill last decade I would have sorted it out. Me and my son spent a day chopping half off the original “industrial strength” serving counter. (And its now all gone). We could have done the Wier as well.

    I went round and took pictures of the wiers this year after Barry Joyce and Adrian gave a presentation on the DVMWHS OUV to the Plan for Belper Steering Group where he mentioned the hole. They are in need of some TLC before their condition deteriorates to a serious extent.

  • Barry Joyce

    Great initiative. I hope to turn up on the 23th.

  • Andrew Huskinson

    It would have been nice to see you again Barry but I am on holiday.

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