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Going Wild in Belper and Beyond

Written by Chloe Davenport-Kelly from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Chloe is a trainee within the Learning Through Nature Project and has a passion for conservation and education, aiming to foster connections between local communities and nature.



In the hustle of our daily lives, there's something about getting to the weekend, lacing up your walking boots and setting out on a crisp, morning walk. Having moved to Belper in 2022 without having visited before, I was instantly captivated by the nature that surrounds this charming town.


I have been on many walks and adventures since moving, often starting with a stroll through Belper Park Local Nature Reserve, a beautiful space, used by many who also enjoy walking and exercising their dogs. As spring approaches, look out for the wildflower meadow by the Coppice Brook; it’s a haven for wildlife during the warmer months and a great spot for observing nature. Walking through pops you out into Belper’s marketplace, where you can find more local, treasured green spaces, such as the Memorial Gardens on King Street.


Carrying on along the A6, a place I enjoy visiting is Belper River Gardens. This is an excellent spot to catch a glimpse of the waterfowl in the area – geese, mallards, swans, and coots – which adds a touch of nature connection to your visit.

For an extra dose of excitement during your nature walks, I highly recommend trying out a game that has become a favourite of mine (yes, even at the age of 23!) - the A-Z spotting game. It's a simple yet engaging activity that requires no planning and can be done when you’re on the move. Starting with the letter 'A', challenge yourselves to spot, smell, touch, or find something in nature that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet. You can take turns or maybe make it into a friendly competition: the A-Z spotting game encourages you to delve deeper into the natural world around you. Give it a try on your next walk, you won’t be disappointed!


I love the spaces my work leads me to. A spot I’m usually at is Carsington Water, also an amazing place for a great day out. Carsington is a wildlife haven. Its open waters, wet shorelines and woodland provide brilliant habitats for kingfishers, water voles, otters and so much more. Carsington is also the home of DWT’s Wildlife Discovery classroom. This is where we run family bushcraft and Nature Tots sessions, events that focus on outdoor, nature-based play, learning new skills, and fostering the forest school ethos. If you would like to get involved, check out the Events page on our website.


Become a Super Spotter

When you’re out on a walk, have you ever taken a moment to appreciate the nature around you? Whether it’s a copper-breasted robin bouncing around looking for worms, a bumblebee landing on an open flower or a butterfly showing off its colours, nature is everywhere to be seen! At Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, we want to hear about all your nature sightings when you’re out and about. Our Super Spotters Campaign includes an easy-to-use Super Spotters Detective notebook to help you and your family submit your sightings for our official records! Download it here. Snap a photo and get started…


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