Photo: Orchids at Chee Dale
A Derbyshire Wildlife Trust project to improve the visitor experience at two of its most loved sites in Derbyshire: Wye Valley just off the Monsal Trail, and The Whistlestop Café in Matlock Bath, has secured £25,912.53.
The funding, awarded by LEADER through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (1 of 2 agricultural funds which are part of the EU general budget), will be used to recreate a little piece of Derbyshire’s natural and industrial heritage within The Whistlestop Café, which is based in the Whistlestop Centre in the old Matlock bath train station.
Jenny Lear, who manages the space said, “It means the café will become a place where people can not only relax and have a brew but they can learn what’s so special about the area they live in, (or are visiting), and will go away loving it as much as we do! It’s so important that we achieve this in a fun and engaging way because wildlife is declining so quickly. We believe that the more people love their natural world, the more they will do to save it.”
The project will also mean the Trust can improve their signage within the Wye Valley. It’s one of the most visited areas in Derbyshire, along the Monsal Trail, but aside from a few reserve panels, it’s not clear to visitors that the Trust has five stunning and highly important nature reserves that burst with wild flowers in the summer months. The funding will allow the Trust to add additional, sympathetic signage signposting the reserves and letting people know why they are so special.
Ellen Fineran, project manager at the Trust said, “We are delighted that LEADER has chosen to support these two projects – we are quickly coming up to peak tourist season so now is the time for us to ensure these sites are at their best so everyone can enjoy them come spring.
Councillor Tony King, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at Derbyshire County Council which manages the LEADER scheme in Derbyshire, said: “We’re delighted to support Derbyshire Wildlife Trust through our LEADER scheme.
“We’re committed to supporting small businesses, community groups and organisations in Derbyshire and the scheme can help to make a difference for local people.
“The Trust’s project will be a real benefit to the local community and environment and we look forward to seeing it progress.”
Work has commenced at The Whistlestop Café in preparation for opening in March and work will start in the Wye Valley in summer.
Both projects are in need of volunteers. If you wish to help down at The Whistlestop Café or up in the Wye Valley then sign up online at www.derbyshirewildlifetrust/org.uk/support/volunteer.