Colouring the canal at Cromford

Mills, canals and creatures

Drawing the canal

the picture

 

Back in November as part of the Derwent Mills Heritage Site Discovery Days programme, we took the Derwent Stories project to Cromford for a final event

There, between the Canal and the Mill we invited people – and their dogs – to add to a long, unrolling, unravelling picture of the area. Over the day, 80 people paused to talk to us, to look, wonder, chat a bit more and cautiously or confidently, subtly or in bold and bright colours add their contribution to the drawing…..

the canal and trees

This was the last of the Derwent Stories events for this year. We are hoping we might manage a couple more in the Spring. If that happens we’ll post the news here and invite anyone and everyone to come and join us

The Derwent Stories project set out to offer families easy creative ways of exploring the world around them. We aimed to work in places that:

  • were we easy to get to
  • had good access for people pushing buggies or steering their own wheelchair
  • offered interesting outdoor spaces to explore
  • gave us a mix of busy public spaces and quieter options

We planned activities that invited exploration

  • that gave participants new ways of expressing their discoveries
  • Where materials would be easy to find again
  • techniques used would be easy to repeat without us there to mutter at everyone
  • that suited children with additional needs

watervole

So, Mills, canals and creatures simply used:

  • a long roll of paper (discount shops often have rolls of paper for children’s painting easels, or you could use some lining paper for home decorating)
  • A selection pencils, pens, charcoal, and mud (for dog pawprints and human fingerprints)
  • Some reference pictures, just in case,
  • But mostly we simply stood or sat and look at what was around us

The fun was in scribbling, feeling free to just have a go and to add our ideas to ones that had gone before, building stories as we did it

Another blog listing and linking the various sites and activities that Derwent Stories visited will be posted shortly

careful work

 

Where were we:

Cromford Canal: parking at Cromford Wharf car park (there is a charge for this)

Getting about: easy paths along the canal. At weekends there is also a canalboat that runs down to High Peak Junction (1 mile down the towpath)

The towpath is a level walk with no obstacles. It can feel a bit narrow at times when there are other people and cyclists around so travel with due care.

Facilities: there are toilets at both Cromford Canal Car Park and at High Peak Junction 1 mile down the path

Risks: yes, there is a canal. There are also stinging nettles in summer on the banks and prickly brambles here and there. The canal, however, is not deep and the general recommendation is that if someone does fall in, tell them to stand up, BUT BE SENSIBLE AND USE YOUR STANDARD “SAFETY AROUND A WATER BODY” PRECAUTIONS

 

a dinosaur in the trees*

What to look for: ducks! Moorhens, and coots are all to be seen most of the year. In spring and summer watch for Little Grebes (Dabchicks) on the water and Swallows above it. People see grass snakes and water voles regularly. Just past the Junction there is also the impressive Lea Wood Pump House which looks very exciting (and opens occasionally) and a little further there is the charming Aqueduct Cottage with its painted windows. About ½ miles along the path from Cromford to the Junction on the other side of the canal there is a lifesize model Stegosaurus tucked away in the woods.

This is a site that you can just turn up at and have a lovely walk. A little research in advance, however, can help you coincide with things like the Pump House openings or Boat Trips

 

Useful links

Boat trips

https://www.cromfordcanal.info/boat/boat.htm

General information

https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/countryside/countryside-sites/waterways-wetlands/cromford-canal.aspx

 

  • the dinosaur photo was found at this site:Stegosaurus: http://www.pictame.com/media/

    If there is any problem with us posting this, please let us know and we’ll take it down

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Winter Lights, 2

More Winter Lights!

Sunday 9th December

1 – 4 pm

some festive bottle lanterns!

Manifold Primary School

Warslow, SK17 0JP

As the nights grow longer and the festive season approaches, join us in the beautiful Upper Dove Valley for an afternoon of making…there will be paper for drawing and patterns for cutting – festoon your house, or maybe yourself, with your own Christmas cut-outs, or make a glowing lantern to light those dark winter nights

more bottle lanterns!

Materials provided but please bring a plastic bottle if you can – 500ml – 2 litre all work well

Free

No booking needed

Children need to bring a grown-up with them

Allow 45 minues for your activity

 

This is the last of the Summer Excitements! events, supported by South West Peak

Winter Lights!

 

Winter Lights

Dove Valley Centre

Friday 7th December

1 – 4pm

As the nights grow longer and the festive season approaches, join us in the beautiful Upper Dove Valley for an afternoon of making…there will be paper for drawing and patterns for cutting – festoon your house, or maybe yourself, with your own Christmas cut-outs, or make a glowing lantern to light those dark winter nights

Materials provided but please bring a plastic bottle if you can – 500ml – 2 litre all work well

Free

No booking needed

 

Access: as far as possible, we’ll park people down by the centre itself but if we get busy you might find a sign on the gate asking you to park there and walk down the hill (a picturesque 5 minutes!)

If you have any especial concerns about access, please get in touch:  stoneandwater@btinternet.com

Dove Valley Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first of a busy weekend of Wintry light events for Stone and Water…..details for the others will follow but…

Friday 7th: when we finish at the Centre, we’re heading over to the Christmas Fayre at St Bartholomews Primary School in Longnor to do a similar activity there (5 – 7 pm) before joining the village for their Lights Switch On that evening

Saturday 8th: improvising some Victorian Lanterns at Wincles Primary School as aprt of their Victorian Christmas Fete from 3pm

Sunday 9th: Warslow: Winter Lights activity at Manifold Primary School, 1 – 4 pm – details to follow

 

These are the last of the Summer Excitements! event, a project supported by the South West Peak and the Bingham Trust

Rocks, fossils and cheerful puppets

Rocks, fossils and cheerful puppets

limestone fossils

Derwent Stories at the Altitude Festival

16th Sept 2018

 

First there were rocks. And some lovely stones. And fossils. Chalk and limestone, granite and gabbro. Rocks to hold and think about. Trilobites, goniatites, crinoids and teeth.  We thought these would feed into lovely puppet and word activities inspiring quiet conversation around mineral stories and the arguments of crystals

 

Then it rained

 

there are always mermaids

The Altitude Youth Arts Festival at the Mt Cook Adventure Centre where we were working was a lovely afternoon. There was some excellent music to keep us entertained. Songs from young musicians, dance from another young group, some quiet storytelling from others. There was a cap fire in the woods and bushcraft activities to try. And us making pebble puppets on a field while people sailed, shrieking, down a zip wire overhead

 

Great fun!

 

Our carefully planned activity dissolved a bit in the rain but we made some wonderful puppets all the same. We got people holding rocks. Talking about what they might find in their gardens at home or out on a walk. And they went home with some wonderfully crazy little characters….

a cheerful pebble with his assorted fossil friends

Make your own pebble puppet: instructions will follow shortly

 

DERWENT STORIES

After Derwent Stories events we post a note of where we went and how we found it, encouraging people to go again in their own time…

Visiting Altitude

When: Altitude is a Youth Arts Festival within the bigger Wirksworth fsetvial. aS such it happens once a year – watch for dates for enxt September

Access: activities happen at different sites. My Cook Adventure Centre has parking, easy access for wheelchairs and good toilets. Activities were free. The music was great. On a good day it would have been a lovelt afternoon to sit on the grass with a picnic and nejoy the music, do a bit of making and generally relax. At the Eco Centre next door there was more acoustic music

 

The next Derwent Stories events will be

Autumn Art and Stories on Saturday 22nd Sept at High Peak Junction (follow the link for details).

GIVEN THE POSSIBLY BAD WEATHER THIS WEEKEND, CHECK THE FACEBOOK PAGE

OR THE BLOG ON SATURDAY MORNING FOR A DEFINITE YES OR NO

Mills,  Canals and Creatures at Cromford Mill on November 2nd as part of the Derwent Mills Discovery Days Festival

Derwent Stories events, are open to anyone who wants to join in but activities are structured around families with children with additional needs

Useful links:

Errwood Autumn event

Errwood Autumn

Sunday 23rd September

Errwood Car Park

Goyt Valley

1 – 4pm

 

 

Summer birds are leaving

Summer lives sinking into winter stillness,

But rosehips are shining,

Delicate toadstools sprout in the leaf litter,

Conkers drop on unguarded heads

And squirrels are busy burying nuts

While jays dig them up again and hide them somewhere else

 

What secrets will the woods share in autumn? Join us to explore the hills of Errwood in the Goyt Valley

We’ll be at Errwood car park between 1 and 4 pm on Sunday 23rd September. There will be a base there and we might take a stroll to the ruins of the Hall. Or you might explore and come back to us to turn your discoveries into your own  own autumn book or get messy with an autumn clay and seed ball…..

Contact for more info: fb: Stone and Water

Email: stoneandwater@btinternet.com

Booking: no booking needed and the event is free

 

This is one of our Summer Excitements! events supported by Southwest Peak Landscape Partnership and the Bingham Trust

 

Getting there:

Errwood Hall Car Park

https://goyt-valley.org.uk/directions/

The road between the reservoirs closes on Sundays through to the end of September. Assuming it will still be closed on 23rd, you will need come in down The Street from the Rainow side. The A54/A523 Cat and Fiddle road past the Derbyshire Bridge car park is one way from Errwood towards Derbyshire bridge. Or cycle in!

Autumn art and stories

Autumn art and stories

Saturday 22nd September

1 – 4pm

High Peak Junction car park

a Derwent Stories event

log benches and delicate toadstools

Summer birds are leaving,

Summer lives sinking into winter stillness,

But Rosehips are shining,

Delicate toadstools sprout in the leaf litter,

Conkers drop on unguarded heads,

And squirrels are busy burying acorns

While jays dig them up again and hide them somewhere else

 

What secrets will the woods share in autumn? Join us for a wander along the canal to peer into autumn waters, pass the magnificent Leawood Pump House, meet the mystery of the cottage in the woods and explore the woodlands at the edge of autumn.

 

We’ll be at High Peak Junction car park between 1 and 4 pm on Saturday 22nd September. There will be a base there and we will wander off along the canal in a couple of sessions. But there will always be someone on hand to help you explore. You might want to draw the autumn, make your own autumn book or get messy with an autumn clay and seed ball…..

after acorns, add a toadstool…

Like all the Derwent Stories events, Autumn art and stories

is open to anyone who wants to join in but activities are structured around families with children with additional needs

This event is planned and will be delivered with the help of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

 

 

 

Contact for more info:

fb: Stone and Water

Email: stoneandwater@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

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Talking Stones!

Talking stones!

Sunday 16th September

12 – 4pm

Mt Cook Adventure Centre

Wirksworth DE4 4LS

Derwent Stories

 at

Altitude Youth Music and Arts Festival

 

a shouting stone

Do you like rocks?

Do you investigate stones and enjoy fossils?

Join us for a different take on some familiar minerals!

We’re going to be making puppets inspired by the rocks and fossils of the Adventure Centre site. There will be stones to handle, fossils to look at and artists to help you turn ideas into puppets. We know that there are stories hidden in rocks, secrets in stones and every fossil has a tale to tell. So, why not join us to help some puppets fossilise, sediment out or just erupt, and add your own wodnerful pebble person to our pile of talking stones and wandering rocks….

a grumpy lump of pumice

Activity is free: just come along and join in

Like all the Derwent Stories events, Talking stones! is open to anyone who wants to join in but activities are structured around families with children with additional needs

 

Contact for more info: fb: Stone and Water

Email: stoneandwater@btinternet.com

 

a crowned sedimentary queen

I am the Calcite Queen with a crown of crystal,

I am the Boulder King, round and heavy as granite,

We are The Lava Gang, waiting, ready to run,

Waiting, waiting, waiting for the volcano alarm clock!