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Monday, 21 August 2017

Yesterday at Darley Moor

British Human Powered Vehicle Club
Darley Moor Race Circuit

Monday, 14 August 2017

HPV Racing

The British Human Powered Vehicle Club are back at the Darley Moor Race Circuit on Sunday 20th August start 10am. Entry free.
Come along to see these guys belting along at  + 40mph.
Lots of other innovative bike designs  on show
No facilities except toilets, so bring food and drink.
Best route to entrance on A515 Sudbury/Ashbourne road is via R68 - Longford, Rodsley, Yeaveley.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Tree Danger Sorted

The Derbyshire Countryside Rangers came along to deal with the precariously poised willow tree and it is now safe. It was far too big to be felled complete, so branches were cut off individually and turned into sawdust which was then sprayed into the undergrowth by a rather wonderful machine.
Watching other people working is a popular pastime, particularly so where they are experts at the job, as these guys are.
As always, experts make difficult tasks look easy.

                                       There goes one!

 This is the Muncher which was also useful for nudging the resulting logs off the path.
                         See it munching on video HERE

                                     The end result.

                       See the size against my 20" wheels.

                                      Path now clear.                      
                   Compare with similar photo on previous post.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Dangerous Tree on R54 at Mickleover

 A large willow tree is hanging precariously over the Greenway about 1/2 mile from Mickleover Station. This view is looking towards Etwall and is next to the last house before Potlocks Farm Gate.
Phil Royle has notified Derbyshire County Council Countryside Services and it is on their URGENT list, so we hope that the tree will be made safe (ie felled) tomorrow Friday August 4th.

View looking towards Mickleover Station.

PS 7.40pm 
It now seems that the Countryside Rangers arrived later this afternoon, but could not find the tree, and those of us who knew where it is had all gone home.
Propose to contact them again first thing Friday morning.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Task Day at Breadsall

A very successful Task Day with 9 Rangers, including 2 new faces, turned up at Breadsall Station to cut down the enormous growth of vegetation which had sprouted in and around the dwarf walls of the station buildings. What a difference it has made!
Mavis came along with one of her delicious cream cakes and, just like the good old days, we saw the disappearing cake trick (except that it isn't a trick).
A second task day is proposed to clear the overgrown vegetation which has grown around the signal box, the lamp shed and he level crossing gates.
Sorry no photos as I took my camera which turned out to have a flat battery, particularly since I bought a spare battery last week, but left it at home.

Friday, 21 July 2017

August Informal Lunch

We meet again for a chat, food, and drink at Don Amott's Cafe on Thursday 3rd August. Be there sometime after 12.30pm if you nothing more important to do.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Informal Lunch (July)

Being the first Thursday of the month, tomorrow sees us once more at Don Amott's Cafe for our Informal Lunch.
Sorry for the rather late reminder.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Glow Worm Walk 10.30pm Wednesday 28 June 2017

Photo from last year's walk.

We will leave the small car park at the top of the slope down to Mickleover Station (almost opposite the Great Northern pub) promptly at 10.30pm. We will walk fairly slowly so anyone arriving late will be able to catch up with us. It is unlikely we will see any glow worms until we are beyond the housing and the City boundary. The walk will be about 2 miles to the glow worm’s limit at Bannell’s Gate. Should be back at Mickleover Station by 12.30am.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Rangers Ride

On Sunday next 25th June we are riding out to Locko Park Spomdon for the Derbyshire County Show. There will be lots to see at the show, hence the early start.
Entry charges are £13 for adults and £10 for concessions.

Also Rangers Meeting on Monday 27th. 7pm at the Eagle in Agard Street.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Informal Lunch June 1st

A good turn-out for this month's informal get-together at Don Amott's Cafe in Hilton, with nine people having nothing better to do on this fine sunny afternoon.

Here we are inside, (except for Sue Harris who took the photograph).

And Mavis, John, Nick and Peter about to leave for home.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Informal Lunch Dates

Our monthly informal lunch meetings at Don Amott's Cafe in Hilton have been moderately successful in keeping old and new Rangers in contact, without interfering with the formal meetings held at the Eagle PH in Agard Street.
The informal lunch meetings will normally be held on the first Thursday of the month, those being as follows:
June 1st
July 6th
August 3rd
September 7th
October 5th
November 2nd
December 7th

See you there.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Events in May

Our next Informal Lunch is on Thursday 4th May at Don Amott's Café in Hilton.  About  12.30pm.
The next Derby Rangers Meeting is on Monday 22nd May at The Eagle on Agard Street, Derby. 7pm.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sustrans Milepost Painting

On our patch we have half a dozen or so of the cast iron mileposts which were funded by RBS in the early days of the National Cycle Network.
Most have been painted in a variety of styles and colours, by our own Rangers, but this was a long time ago and most could do with a repaint.
We understand that Sustrans now have an artist who is willing to carry out this task. Having seen an example of her work (see below), I think that we should be asking her to pay us a visit and suggest that she might repaint the post at Mickleover Station on NCN Route 54/68 (for a start) and that we should treat her to a meal at The Great Northern PH nearby when the job is done.

This newly painted post is on NCN 5 as we approach Chester and with due regard to our faithful Rangers who have painted our posts previously, I think that this effort puts the job on a different level, adding a real touch of class to the National Cycle Network.

Hardwick Hall family ride Sunday 21 May 2017

White Peak Sustrans Rangers' Group
Providing guided public rides
Join us for a guided family cycle ride to Hardwick Hall
 Ride location:  The Phoenix Greenways, starting at Teversal Visitor Centre.
Date & start time: Sunday 21st May – 11.00am
Approx length: 10 miles taking around 3 hours (inc stops)
Suitable for: Family groups, including accompanied children who have reasonable proficiency at riding a bike. Appropriate to riders of all ages.
Terrain: Tracks and Trails.
Ride description: This is an "out and back” ride along the traffic-free Terversal and Rowthorne Trails, taking us into the spectacular Hardwick Park. The Trails are shared by walkers, horses and other cyclists so can be busy at times with walkers, joggers and loose dogs, so basic riding safety etiquettes and protocols will be observed.  The ride is mainly level apart from a very gentle incline on the outward leg in the grounds of the Hardwick Estate, but it should not provide a problem to anyone with a degree of basic fitness.
The ride will be fairly leisurely and ride leader will facilitate a number of stopping points to take in the views on the outward leg.
Facilities: There is free parking at the Teversal Visitor Centre. The Café and information Centre opens at 10am so refreshments can be bought before the ride.  When we arrive at the National Trust Hardwick Estate, we will have approx. 30- 45minutes relaxing time to enjoy a drink/snack etc, at the NT café and picnic area, alternatively you can bring your own refreshments.
Entrance to the estate is free, but this ride may inspire you to visit Hardwick Hall another day and discover how Bess of Hardwick acquired her wealth and built Hardwick Hall.

Ride leaders: The ride will be led by a member of the Group who has will provide some information about the history of the trail and the Hardwick Estate. He will be supported by other members of the group to ensure that the ride is conducted safely. All members of the group are qualified to lead rides of this nature and are approved to do so by Sustrans.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Action on Graffiti

Some months ago the underpass of the A516 bridge at Etwall was attacked by mindless vandals who sprayed graffiti over a large area of the walls.

Our policy is to paint over such unsightly spoilage of our Greenways, but due to difficult weather conditions we have only just got round to fixing the problem.
Today our crack team of graffiti obliterators turned out with rollers, brushes and a large bucket of white paint to overpaint the eyesore.

                                                 And here they are - in action.

Within a couple of hours,  using surprisingly little paint, the job was done, and although we need to do a bit more tidying and perhaps a second coat of paint, at least the graffiti is gone.
After a break for coffee tea and snacks, kindly provided by Mavis and Sue, we had time to
attend to a few other minor problems in the immediate area. The 33 wooden steps at Sutton Lane Bridge needed a good clean, some pruning of overgrown vegetation was required and locks on the gates needed lubrication.

Phil, Sue and Mavis here making a nice job of cleaning the steps which lead down from Sutton Lane Bridge to the R549 path below.

Mavis checks the steps on completion of the job.

And Phil points to another problem on the bridge, that being two empty bottles precariously  perched on a ledge. He was unable to dislodge them by throwing stones at them, so watch out when you next pass beneath the bridge as they will surely come down one day.

Thanks also to Nick Potter who came along later having represented us at the meeting with Huub Events regarding the Great Northern Run. He also did some pruning of nearby vegetation and carried out maintenance of the nearby gate locks.

So, a good job done by all. Don't forget to record work hours on the Sustrans Volunteers Web Site.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Emperor's New Signage

The Emperor of the New Forest was very proud of his cycle routes and wanted only the very best signage for them, so that his cycling subjects could find their way about in the forest. He searched far and wide but could never find quite the style of signage that he liked.

One day, two wicked Rangers came to him and said, “Sire, we have the just the thing for you – the very best signage that has ever been devised, but you will need to give us lots of money so that we can put this project properly into effect, and also it will take some time, so difficult will be our task. Moreover, this signage is magic: only wise cyclists will be able to see it; fools will see nothing at all!” The emperor was dead impressed and told the rangers to start work immediately. He said, “I only want clever people working for me, not fools.” When they were alone, the wicked Rangers laughed like drains. “All the cyclists in the forest will pretend to see the signage. Nobody will want to look a prat!” Next day and for the next few weeks they beavered away on the non-existent signage but everyone who watched them at work pretended to see the most beautiful signage in the whole world! Even the Emperor of the New Forest could not see any signage but he did not want to be thought a fool. The emperor was very happy and he gave the two wicked Rangers lots of money.

The day came when the new signage was ready to be installed on all the cycle routes of the New Forest and this ‘task’ was carried out by the two wicked Rangers who, after their final payment, disappeared and were never seen again. Then the emperor and his subjects cycled in the forest and said, “This new signage is amazing!” for they didn’t want to look like idiots, but in truth they rode round and round and got totally lost. And so it is that to this day that, despite the Sustrans online mapping which shows Route 2 passing through the New Forest and notwithstanding the fact that you should be able to follow any route of the National Cycle Network without a map, much of it has in fact only magic signs which can only be seen by clever cyclists.

Context: I have just ridden Route 2 from Dorchester to Southampton. It was fortunate that I had fed the route from the online mapping into my Garmin gadget before setting out. Otherwise I might still be in the New Forest together with the emperor’s subjects, riding round and round forever! A beautiful route, nevertheless! (Recommended – but take a map with you!)

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Peregrines are back

The Peregrine Falcons are back to their nest site on Derby Cathedral. To follow their progress on the webcams fixed to the tower click HERE
This connects you to the Peregrine Blog which has links to the cameras.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Easter Sunday cycling treasure hunt


Meet at Matlock station at 10:45 for a prompt start at 11:00 (Derby train arrives at 10:30)

Fun for all the family! We will ride to Rowsley along the new multi-user path to Darley Dale and Rowsley, stopping at a number of places to search for clues and answer questions. At each location children will look for a letter which after rearrangement will spell out a well-known word. Adults will answer a few questions. There will be prizes for the winners! We will be passing through the delightful Whitworth Institute Park - and expect to see steam trains en route! Refreshments will be available at Caudwell Mill, Rowsley, after which we will ride back without stops to Matlock, arriving at about 14:00. Most of the route will be traffic-free, off road path consisting of tarmac or Toptrek (crushed stone - like the Monsal Trail) surface. Almost any bike will be appropriate for this ride. Parents, please look after your children when riding over the (very short) road sections. 

Organized by the White Peak Sustrans Ranger Group

Rangers Meeting 27th April 2017

Notes from meeting

Notes from Derby Sustrans Group Meeting

27th March 2017 7pm

The Golden Eagle, Agard Street, Derby


Martin Aldred, Mavis Ratcliffe, Ian Dent, Les Sims, Dave Clasby, Dan Robertson


Peter Ford, Steve Adams, Jerry Evans

Group Roles & Structure

The following people were identified as currently holding the following roles:

Ride Leader – Ian Dent
Signing Champion – Peter Ford
Wildlife Champions – Ed Derby, Esther Cranston, Jo Sheldon

Volunteers are sought for other roles highlighted in the proposed structure that was circulated with the agenda, namely Event Co-ordinator, more Ride Leaders, and Task Days Co-ordinator.

C Selden asked how the condition of the routes in Derby were monitored and suggested that each ranger took responsibility for checking a route near to them or which they used regularly. The rangers would then report back any issues to the Group Co-ordinator and Task Days could be organised to rectify any problems. The following routes and people who could inspect on a monthly basis are:

Route 6 from Derby City Centre to Long Eaton – Christine Selden
Breadsall Greenway –
Route 54 to Longford –
Mickleover Greenway – Mavis Ratcliffe
Route 549 –

Action: Rangers to contact C Selden with the route(s) that they can inspect regularly


Les Sims has agreed to keep updating the blog and this will continue to be the main method of external communication. There has been some difficulty in keeping email lists up to date so C Selden will set up a closed Facebook Group for those Rangers who prefer to keep up to date by social media.

Action: C Selden to set up Derby Sustrans Facebook Group


Several future task days were identified:

Signing of Route 66: This would potentially take 4 days with a maximum of 3 people. Day 1 inspection of the North Side, Day 2 signing, Day 3 inspection of the South Side, Day 4 signing

Bench Painting & Repair: Mickleover Greenway and Breadsall Greenway

Graffiti Removal: A516 underpass at Etwall. M Ratcliffe to organise a date

Glow Worm Count on the Mickleover Greenway: this will take place on Wednesday 28th June, starting at 10.30pm and Mickleover and Etwall

Milepost Painting: All 5 posts in the Derby area need painting. Dan suggested that 1 or 2 be chosen for Pat, an artist volunteering with Sustrans, to come along & paint. This would be accompanied by a stall where Rangers can talk to passing members of the public. Alvaston Park and Darley Park were identified as the 2 most suitable mileposts.

Actions: D Robertson to contact Pat with the suggested locations and firm up some dates. M Ratcliffe to organise a date for graffiti removal. M Aldred to organise the Glow Worm count. All Rangers: volunteers needed for the signing of Route 66 and bench painting & repair


D Clasby spoke about a proposed ride for 18th June. The Big Lunch ride will take place on the last Saturday of National Bike Week and will also fall in National Clean Air Week. The Big Lunch this year will be a tribute to Jo Cox, and Dave has already had confirmation of attendance from Amanda Solloway MP, former MP Chris Williamson, and Ranjit Banwait, and the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party will have representatives. The themes of the ride will be ‘Diversity, Democracy, Cycling, Clean Air & Food.’ Local Faith Groups and the British Red Cross have already agreed to promote the ride. The ride will start at the Council House and will proceed along the riverside path to Elvaston Castle for lunch and then follow the same route back. Dave has asked that the Derby Rangers provide marshals for the day, ride leaders (if qualified) and promote the ride.

Action: Rangers to contact C Selden if they can help with the ride

In addition to The Big Lunch ride, it was suggested that Rangers Rides be organised to the County Show at Locko Park on the 25th June, and to the Elvaston Steam Rally on 1st July.

Dan also asked if the group could support the White Peak group at ‘Belper Goes Green’ on the week-end of the 3rd & 4th June.

It was agreed that an Events Leader needed to be sourced from the group and an audit of the events kit in the trailer needed to be made. The group could then be more proactive in attending local events such as ‘The Big One’ in Chaddesden Park and Etwall Well-dressing to promote Sustrans

Action: Rangers to contact C Selden if they can attend ‘Belper Goes Green’ and/or if they wished to be involved with Events.


Dan will be organising training in the forthcoming months on the following topics:

Organising Task Days
Ride Leaders
Talking to people at events
Habitat surveying


Les Sims suggested that bird boxes needed replacing

The next social lunch will be on Thursday 6th April 12.30pm at Don Amott’s café, Hilton

Next Meeting: 24th April 2017 7pm, Golden Eagle Pub, Agard Street, Derby

Monday, 13 March 2017

Ranger's Meeting

Chris Selden has arranged a meeting of new and old Derby Rangers for 7pm on Monday 27th March at the Golden Eagle PH in Agard Street Derby. The room is upstairs and folding bikes can be taken in.
This is an important meeting to decide future policy and events for the Ranger Group, so please come along if you can.
Agard Street is just off St. Alkmund's Way and runs parallel to Friargate, so is pretty central.
Street car parking nearby and bikes can be parked at the pub.

The next informal meeting is at Don Amott's café is on Thursday April 6th at 12.30pm.