Closures Cycling Walking

Upper Derwent Valley cycle loop closed for up to three months

Update February 2023: After extending the closure into 2023, Severn Trent Water now confirms “the route is now open however there are large timber trucks using the route, please be careful when using the tracks.”

From today, Monday 12th September 2022, a large section of the route around the Upper Derwent Valley reservoirs is due to be closed to all users. For up to an estimated three months, it won’t be possible to complete a loop of the Derwent and Howden reservoirs.

The closure will cover 3.4 miles of the restricted road north of Fairholmes Visitor Centre, and applies to all users: whether driving, cycling or walking. Despite the closure, all facilities at Fairholmes including cycle hire will remain open. Two bridleways passing through the works areas will also be closed.

This means the popular circular route around the two upper reservoirs will be completely severed. Though it’ll be possible to access the bridge at Slippery Stones and King’s Tree via the eastern side, you’d then need to double back completely, making more of an out-and-back ride along the valley.

Map provided by Severn Trent Water, showing road closure in red and right of way closures in blue (note the path also closed south of Fairholmes).

To extend this abbreviated end-to-end ride during the closure, you could consider using the shared foot/cycleways alongside the main road east of Ladybower Reservoir, then cross the Ladybower Dam to add on the short Thornhill Trail, which continues south towards Bamford.

Yet again, the forestry works are to remove trees affected by phytophthora ramorum or “larch disease”, which has seen large areas of the Goyt Valley, Macclesfield Forest and Lamaload Reservoir cleared of infectious stock.

The one-way road through the Upper Goyt Valley is also scheduled to be closed from late September to enable trees to be removed.

Work we will be doing

Phytophthora ramorum also known as ‘larch disease’, is a disease that has affected large areas of larch plantations in the UK – including within the Peak District which causes infected trees to die quickly.

We will be helping to reduce the spread of larch disease across the woodlands using mechanical harvesters and forwarders to fell, process, and remove the trees from the woodland. Please note the machinery will be operated from the road.

The work will be undertaken through a Statutory Plant Health Notice, (a legal directive from the Forestry Commission) to remove infectious trees and is expected to take approximately three months.

Once the felling process is complete, the area will be restocked with a mix of native and forestry stock trees, which are more resilient to diseases, with all works carried out to minimise the impact to residents, wildlife and visitors.

Severn Trent Water

There’s no definite end date, but the Peak District National Park website states the closure will be “for an estimated three months”, so until mid-December 2022.

Follow @peaksandpuddles on Twitter or Facebook for any further updates on this route closure.

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About Peaks & Puddles

Hello, I'm Anthony. I started Peaks & Puddles to chart the ups and downs of cycling and walking the edges of the Peak District around Buxton, Macclesfield and Stockport, and to help more people explore this brilliant landscape between town and country. Find out more about me and Peaks & Puddles here.