Matlock Bath Parish Council

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Matlock Bath Parish Council

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Birdwatching in the Nature Reserve. Click here to find out more.

Update on Waterloo Road

Climate Change/Climate Advisory Group

Parking Proposals

Coronavirus Updates

Website Accessibility Statement

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Illuminations Liaison Meetings

Nature Reserve Work Programme

Local Information

Pro-loco Art Competition 2020 CANCELLED - Click Here for more information. .
Pro-loco Photography Competition is now CLOSED. Click Here for results.

Nature Reserve

The Wapping Nature Reserve

After years of negotiation, in 2002 the Parish Council acquired the lease of an area known locally as the ‘Rabbit Field’. It is in the care of the Parish Council and is managed as a nature reserve for the benefit of the community. Members of the public are welcome to visit. The Reserve lies on the hillside behind New Bath Hotel can be reached from Clifton Road and from The Wapping Footpath and Bridleway. Its day to day management is carried out by a committee of which Mike Greenan, father of the project, is the current Chair. He now explains a little about the Reserve.

When the Parish Council took the area over, it had become very overgrown with brambles taking over many of the once open areas. It is not intended to clear all of the area but nature does need a little controlling influence otherwise many of the natural flora and fauna will disappear, swamped by the more aggressive inhabitants.  When the initial programme is complete, the reserve will consist of open areas interspersed with thickets and small copses of trees. There are many large mature trees which will become a features of some of the areas. Parish Council volunteers have created a network of pathways through the field so as to make it accessible all year round. The main paths have been constructed with stone, with the final section being constructed this year. The new stone paths will soon cover with leaves and be less visible. The remaining natural path network requires constant cutting back to remove brambles and care is required in this natural environment.

There are many species of trees and wild flowers. The intention is to identify these so that everyone will recognise them. The range of wild flowers season by season is quite amazing. These include Campion, Stitchwort, Nettle, Wood Sorrel, St. John's Wort, Willowherb, Primrose, Bindweed, Periwinkle, Forget-me-not, Foxglove, Speedwell and Common Spotted Orchid. When the Bluebells are out, they cover large parts of the field. As more selective clearing takes place, other dormant species will flower.

Click here to find out about the birds we have spotted in the nature reserve. 

It is intended to place benches at strategic points. Future designs will be simple and rustic. Future work will included clearing a terrace in the area around the very large tree which stands at the top of the main central path. There is little flat ground but this should provide a suitable area for the schoolchildren to enjoy a lesson in the fresh air. 

As a nature reserve, it is important that certain rules are followed. These rules are displayed at the entrance to the Reserve.


Dogs welcome BUT……. as the Reserve is used by everyone including children, you are asked to ensure that you do not allow your dog to foul the area. This does not refer only to the footpaths. Children should be free to explore the field, confident that it is safe and pleasant to do so.

Please do not pick the wild flowers. 
Please do not light fires.
Horses must not go beyond the bottom path which joins the Wapping Bridleway. The steps on the bridleway were specifically reinforced and spaced to be suitable for horses. 
The field paths are only designed for pedestrian use.
 Please take your litter home. Plastic and glass can injure people and be a hazard to wildlife.


The nature reserve is open during daylight hours and can be accessed from Clifton Road or from the Wapping Bridleway. 

If you are interested in being involved in the Nature Reserve or just wish to find out more, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Next Parish Council Meeting

Due to the coronavirus outbreak all face-to-face meetings have been cancelled. The next full Council meeting will be held on Wednesday 24th March 2021 at 7.00 pm. If you would like to join this meeting, please contact the Clerk for the passcode. If you wish to raise any issue, please forward to the Clerk details of the issue prior to the meeting.

All Welcome
Click here to see Agenda

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