Landscape Character Types
The project area covers 15 miles of dramatic and attractive river valley dominated by open upland pasture, patterned by dry stone walls, steep sided ancient woodlands interspersed with upland heath and small fields and riverside meadows with hedgerows enclosing pasture and wetlands.
Ordnance Survey map showing the the DerwentWISE area which is located in the centre of Derbyshire within the Districts of Derbyshire Dales, Amber Valley with a very small area within Erewash. Broadly it extends from Matlock Bath in the north to the Silk Mill in Derby to the south.
Ancient woodland refers specifically to woodland that has existed continuously since 1600. Before those dates, planting of new woodland was uncommon, so a wood present in 1600 was likely to have developed naturally. Ancient woodland in the UK, as in the tropics, is home to rare and threatened species; more than any other UK habitat, it is an irreplaceable resource.
Local Wildlife Sites
There are approximately 90 Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) within the project area resulting in a diverse mix of habitats and species. Much of the biodiversity interest is associated with woodlands and grasslands, the remainder includes parkland, heathland, marshes, swamps, water courses and ponds.
SSSi's and LNR's
There are currently 9 sites designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with a further 7 Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Local Nature Reserves within the DerwentWISE catchment. The value of many of the habitats and species has been formally recognised through national and international designation.
The Lower Derwent Valley is home to more than 1200 veteran trees, such as the Oak, Ash, Pine and Elm found in Shining Cliff Woods, Crich Chase, Lea Wood, Bow Wood and Allestree Park. These trees are an important part of our heritage, often being older than many of the historic buildings around them, many surviving for hundreds of years without the designated protection.