Paddle Peak canoe group hold Derwent clean-up day near Matlock Bath with help from nursery children

A team of Derwent Valley canoeists and kayakers took to the river again last week on their latest clean-up mission in Matlock Bath.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:36 pm

The Paddle Peak group tackled a stretch of water from Artists Corner down to Cromford, loading up their crafts with agricultural waste, litter, sanitary waste and huge amount of scrap metal which had been revealed by the recent low water levels.

There was even a shopping trolley from Somerfield – the supermarket chain last seen in Matlock more than a decade ago.

The operation was supported by children and staff from Matlock Bath Preschool and Playgroup, who busied themselves cleaning up the riverside path between Jubilee Bridge and Derwent Gardens.

The charity is working to develop Derwent Valley into a premier paddlesport tourism destination.
The charity is working to develop Derwent Valley into a premier paddlesport tourism destination.

Nursery assistant Sarah Stevenson said: “We have spent the week with the kids talking about recycling and using bins for our rubbish.

“The children enjoyed hunting for litter and were very excited to see what the boats and paddle boards had collected from the river and couldn't believe that a shopping trolley was in there.”

The river guardians also fished out furniture close to Masson Mills that had been dumped down the river bank including a bed and sofa.

Matlock Bath Rowing Boats also contributed to the effort, before the Derbyshire Dales District Council Green Team arrived to collect the waste.

The charity is always looking for new volunteers to get on board.

Paddle Peak is a community charity which brings together paddlesports enthusiasts, businesses and partners to improve access to local waterways for all to enjoy .

That includes cleaning and caring for the environment and its inhabitants, and inspiring young people to try and take to the river and experience the great outdoors.

Paddle Peak founder Pete Astles said: “All the waste we remove from the river protects the environment, it’s wildlife and saves it from making it’s way downstream and ultimately out to sea.

“It was really great to be joined by the local kids in Matlock Bath today. It makes all our hard work worthwhile to know the local community support what we’re doing. Special thanks to them, and to Hou Canoes for our amazing fleet of river clean canoes.”

Paddle Peak members stage regular clean-up days on the Derwent.

For more information on Paddle Peak initiatives, go to

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Andrew Wakefield, editor.

The supermarket trolley had been submerged in the river for years.
As well as the big items, the group collected dozens of bags of litter.
The clean-ups help to protect the landscape and wildlife, both locally and downstream.