Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to improve the existing footpaths around the Hurst Farm Woodland in Matlock connecting four heritage sites.
It means the John Bowne Memorial, Victorian Wishing Stone, Lumsdale Industrial Heritage Site and Bailey’s Tump WWII air defence site will be made more accessible to the local community and wider Matlock area, helping protect them for the future.
Your District Council, working with the Friends of Hurst Farm, the local community and partners, has been successful in securing development funding of £79,500 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund with an additional £29,000 match-funding from the Council, giving a total budget of just over £109k to be spent over two years to develop the proposal further for a full second round application of capital and revenue funding of £1m.
The full project grant aims to improve the existing public footpaths and repair and protect the historic stone paths and architectural features. It will also carry out essential conservation work on the woodland.
An educational programme is also planned, with the creation of a Ranger post and apprenticeships. These posts will undertake educational activities in the woodland and the heritage sites and support the maintenance of these sites.
Volunteers will be given training so they can help care for the site and lead tours for the public. Good signage and a digital app will link the circular Hurst Farm Heritage walk footpaths to other existing paths leading to Riber Castle, Tansley and wider Matlock, creating a great resource to the community on Hurst Farm and Matlock residents.
The Heritage Walk is part of the wider Hurst Farm Regeneration Project, launched two years ago after the District Council successfully made a bid for Government funding from MHCLG to work with the community of Hurst Farm Estate in Matlock to build a long term regeneration strategy.
The Project has looked at the many complex underlying issues on the 700-home estate, which is the biggest in the Derbyshire Dales.
Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Garry Purdy said:
"We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. This funding will allow us to make some of Matlock’s heritage sites and the Hurst Farm Woodland Walks much more accessible and to preserve it for the future.
"The development of the Heritage Walk is important to improve the footpaths that link the Hurst Farm and Matlock residents to important heritage sites making them more accessible. By opening up the access for better enjoyment we also aim to secure and protect the heritage sites for the future."
The heritage sites are:
- John Bowne Memorial - famous ancestor of Hurst Farm- Born on Hurst Farm in Matlock, Derbyshire, on 9 March 1627, Bowne emigrated to America. He became a Quakers and by 1661, they had relocated to Flushing, Long Island, where a small group of English-speaking Quakers were attempting to practice their faith in defiance of the Dutch governor of New Netherland (now New York). Bowne was charged and deported to Holland where he argued for religious freedom and won his case. On his return to America, he influenced the inclusion of religious freedom into the American constitution.
- Victorian Wishing Stone - The Wishing Stone is a large natural gritstone rock, about 14 feet in diameter, and some believed that to get a wish granted you have to run around the outer ring of the stone nine times. This was a popular walk destination, particularly in the Victorian times.
- Lumsdale Industrial Heritage Site - A scheduled ancient monument consisting of a cascade of industrial mill ruins. The Lumsdale Valley is a site of national archaeological and historic importance. It is owned by the Arkwright Society.
- Bailey’s Tump - Matlock WWII defence site restored by Matlock Town Council and Matlock Civic Association in 2005.
- Pictured above are (from left) Estate Regeneration Manager Marie Schmidt, Louise Champion and Neil Moulden of Derbyshire Dales Council for Voluntary Service, Anna Casey from the Friends of Hurst Farm, Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Head of Housing Rob Cogings and Charlotte Mulliner of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
- Read more about the Hurst Farm Regeneration Project