Press Release: Hidden Heritage Secret Streams


The Don Catchment Rivers Trust is developing a project that will benefit the natural and historic heritage associated with the rivers of the Upper Rother Catchment in North East Derbyshire.

The project, which is called ‘Hidden Heritage Secret Streams’, is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)* and match funded by the Environment Agency. It is expected that the project will be made up of several elements. One is the restoration of a 700m stretch of the River Rother that was straightened in the 1960s during a time when its water was too polluted to support life. The river will be put back into its original meandering channel, restoring the wide range of habitats required to sustain a wildlife rich river.

moss 24th nov

Other elements of the project will involve local communities. The Trust will work with volunteers to dig ponds and plant trees to trap sediment and pollution, clear up rubbish and ‘balsam bash’ (eradicate Himalayan Balsam, an invasive plant species). A history project will document forgotten watermills, which were a critical source of power during the early industrial revolution. There will also be a programme of events such as guided walks, training and river dipping.

Speaking about the community consultation, Rachel Walker DCRTs Project Manager said “Whilst we have a good idea of what needs doing to improve the river, we want to make sure the project is relevant for communities and includes the types of activities and opportunities people will want to participate in”.

People wishing to contribute should fill in the consultation questionnaire which can be found at or by emailing As a thank you for filling out the questionnaire, people can choose to be entered into a prize draw to win one of two boat trips for up to 5 people. This will take place along the Chesterfield Canal with the Chesterfield Canal Trust, aboard John Varley from the Tapton Lock Visitor Centre, Chesterfield.


 Notes to editors

About the Project Area

The project area is the upper Rother Catchment, the area of land that drains into the upper section of the River Rother.

It borders southern Sheffield and contains the towns of Chesterfield, Stavely, Dronfield and Eckington.

The main tributaries of the upper River Rother are the Moss Brook, the Barlow Brook, the River Drone, the Holme Brook, the River Hipper, the Spital Brook, and the Redleadmill Brook.

About The Don Catchment Rivers Trust

Don Catchment Rivers Trust is a charity that has been established to help protect and restore the rivers in the River Don catchment area, this includes not just the River Don but also the River Dearne, River Rother and other rivers such as the Sheaf, Went, Ea Beck and many others.

Don Catchment Rivers Trust are currently in year 3 of the National Lottery funded ‘Living Heritage of the River Don’ project, which is aiming to return migrating fish to the River Don by creating fish passes, as well as inspire and mobilise local communities to help look after their rivers.

The Trust has also received initial support for the ‘Hidden Heritage Secret Streams’ project from HLF.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.

*HLF Heritage Grants (HG) applications are assessed in two rounds. The Don Catchment Rivers Trust has initially been granted round one development funding of £57,300 by HLF, allowing it to progress with its plans for ‘Hidden Heritage Secret Streams’. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £476,300.