Challenge Buxton 2013: Who’s up for restoring the top of the Derbyshire Wye?

Buxton wild trout

Even the smartest towns sometimes have dirty places, down the inaccessible backs of car parks and petrol stations… and in those places you’ll often find trout!

In truth, this particular dirty place was hard to miss when I visited the top of the Derbyshire Wye at the start of last season: an outsize plunge pool below a (possibly impassable) 12-foot weir, trees decorated with lead shot and heavy monofilament, and eddies clogged with footballs, Styrofoam cups, and impossibly knackered umbrellas.

Over the course of several years, the Wild Trout Trust’s Paul Gaskell has made strenuous efforts to get the good people of Buxton to form a Trout in the Town chapter along the lines of many others across the UK.

You’d think this would have been an easy sell: historic and cultured little spa town, source of a famous bottled-water brand, not to mention the headwaters of one of the world’s iconic limestone rivers.

But whereas every other park in Buxton apparently boasts its own hardworking Friends group, and the Cressbrook and Litton club has recently been working with Buxton Flyfishers and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to clean up their own beautifully meandering beats further down the gorge of the upper Wye (let’s avert our eyes from those several hundred yards of poured concrete gutter, clearly designed to stop the river undercutting the railway line, for now)

… the river in Ashwood Park still feels startlingly unloved, full of silt, kids’ bikes and styrofoam as the HGVs thunder past on the A6.

Yes, it all makes for an authentically gritty urban fly-fishing experience. But does that mean it’s right, or even good for the rest of the river?

If you’re reading this, and you’re inspired to give Buxton’s iconic little limestoner a fresh start in 2013, I’ve got it on good authority that the Wild Trout Trust would love to hear from you

Buxton rubbish 1

Buxton rubbish 2

Ashwood Park, Buxton

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5 Responses to “Challenge Buxton 2013: Who’s up for restoring the top of the Derbyshire Wye?”

  1. You would think that with the Wye being based in Buxton that it would be looked after, like you say they are famous for their bottled water. The picture above looks ghastly and the debris should be removed by local conservation groups.

  2. Will shaw says:

    Who owns the top beats up in buxton?

  3. Peter Arfield says:

    Does the Buxton fly fishing club own that stretch?

  4. Theo says:

    Will and Peter, I think the Buxton club controls water further down the gorge of the A6, but not the stretch immediately below the sewage works, and certainly not through the town and park itself (which as I mentioned all look ripe for a little TLC!)

  5. john says:

    The stretch in the town is infested with signals. We (BFFC) have the stretch a little further down. I have been trying to get the schools involved in the consevation and cleaning of the park, but to no avail. I have sent an email to one individual at the WTT about the signal Crayfish and I got no answer. The peak park does not even seem to want to clear up the dale and have also installed more hard engineering as a result of a fatal accident. Rubbish is getting thrown over from the layby on the A6 and they just ignore the requests for it to be cleared. I could go on and on,but I will probably be called a trouble maker so Im stopping there.

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