Friends of Markeaton Brook
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Kedleston Road Housing Development

There has been a planning application made to Amber Valley Council to build 400 houses on land belonging to the Kedleston Estate. The area is that of green fields facing onto the top end of Kedleston Road  where there are houses on the right hand side as the road veers off to the left and heads towards Kedleston Hall. This will have a direct impact on the brook as well as heritage grazing land. Please take a moment to click the link below and sign the petition if you are in agreement with the sentiments expressed.
Balsam 2012

From the edge of Markeaton Park to Ford Street, himalayan balsam has been cleared!(*) Many thanks to the efforts of our members and those of TCV (the new moniker for British Trust for Conservation Volunteers).
* - well they may be a few stragglers we missed. If you see any that we could reasonably reach then please let us know where.

Judith needs a Hand

Judith's our eager litter picker but she needs a partner or two to help her on a regular weekly basis for a hour or so. The area she covers is from Brook Walk, through Mackworth Recreation Ground and along Markeaton Street to the curly bridge on Queensway though not all in one go!. She'll show you the ropes and she has all the equipment you need for litter picking though you should equip yourself with sensible footwear and clothing. If you would like to help Judith keep Markeaton Brook free from litter then get in touch by sending an e-mail to or telephoning 07530 505 107.

New Postal Address

Due to the Royal Mail's decision to increase prices for a post office box from £62.85 to £95.00 to £170 in two years, the committee have decided to not to continue using this service. All postal mail should now be sent to 15 Ambrose Terrace, Derby, DE1 1DQ.

AGM 2011       Wednesday May 11th 2011

The 2011 Annual General Meeting of Friends of Markeaton Brook was held at 7.30pm at The Travellers Rest, 185 Ashbourne Road, Derby

Committee members Joe Kucharzewski, Lynne Wood and Penny Halfpenny were re-elected to their current roles. The position of chairman was vacant after the retirement of Ken Clarke at Christmas 2010.

Lynne expressed the committee’s appreciation of the contribution made by Ken to the work of the group, especially in relation to the Sturgess Fields appeals.

As no nominations were received for the position of Chairman, Lynne proposed that the current committee members continue to share the role. This was accepted by the meeting.

Lynne reported on this year’s Himalayan balsam pulling efforts and on future plans, including work with staff and students of Derby University to clean up the Brook near their Halls of Residence.

Joe summarised the group’s accounts for 2010 and these were accepted by the meeting.

The AGM closed at 8.00pm and was followed by a most interesting talk, given by James Lee, Outdoors Manager at Kedleston Hall. Jim spoke of his previous experience at other National Trust properties, including Arleston Crags, Hebden Water and 11 years at Hardwick Hall as Assistant Head Warden. He explained the new role of Outdoors Manager to oversee both the gardens and the woods and parkland at Kedleston Hall.

The date for next year’s AGM will be notified nearer the time.

Himalayan Balsam Pull in Markeaton Park      Saturday June 11th 2011

As part of the ‘Let’s go Wild in Derby’ series of events, we led a balsam pulling session along the Brook near the Mundy Play Centre in Markeaton Park. We set up a ‘meet and greet’ station in the car park, with our three display panels giving information about the Brook and about FoMB to passers by. The weather was fine, enabling a good quantity of this invasive plant to be removed.


‘The Brook Beneath Your Feet‘      Sunday August 7th 2011

As part of the ‘Let’s go Wild in Derby’ series of events, local historian Derek Palmer led a group of 30 people along the course of Markeaton Brook, from Derby City centre to Brook Walkway and on to the site of the old outdoor swimming pool by Britannia Mill. Before we set off, Lynne Wood gave people a brief introduction to FoMB.

With his detailed knowledge of the culverts carrying the Brook and photographs to illustrate his talk, Derek gave us a fascinating insight into the history of the Brook and the buildings and people associated with it in the city of Derby.

Start of The Brook Beneath Your Feet Walk End of The Brook Beneath Your Feet

Pond Dipping at the Mill Pond, Markeaton Street    Sunday 21st August 2011

It was great to be joined by Members of Derby City Pond Wardens Association to explore this lovely pond, which a recent survey by Trevor Taylor of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has shown to be in good health.

The list of minibeasts found includes:

Greater water boatman, pond skater, dragonfly nymph, rat-tailed maggot, mayfly larva, fresh water shrimp, leech, daphnia, pond snail, ramshorn snail, water scorpion, freshwater hoglouse, water stick insect. 

Smooth newt, tiny froglets in the grass. 

Brown hawker & southern hawker dragon flies, blue-tailed damselfly. 

Sophie and Hannah, daughters of FoMB member Tracey Smith, made some great drawings of their finds.

Sophie Pond Dipping Record 1 Sophie Pond Dipping Record 2 Hannah Pond Dipping Record 1

Nearby fishermen showed us bream and roach and also reported seeing pike.

Bream Roach

Photos of bream and roach, with both fish being returned alive.

Judith Overton led litter collecting forays round the pond, removing seven bin bags full; we have since repeated the exercise on a regular basis - the pond surroundings look a lot better as a result!

As a result of this joint event, Friends of Markeaton Brook as a group has been named as the Pond Warden for the Mill Pond. If anyone has concerns or things to report about the pond, please contact us.

Visit to Kedleston Park   Saturday October 1st 2011

James Lee, Outdoors Manager at Kedleston Hall, arranged for our visit to be led by Nigel Clamp, a Gardener with 23 years experience of working in the Park. He proved to be an excellent host, giving us interesting insights into life in the Park and issues of current concern. We were able to visit the Fishing Room and Boathouse, which none of us had been inside before, and also to explore the stables.

Our visit was rounded off by a welcome visit to the Restaurant for tea and cakes. Many thanks to James and Nigel for a most enjoyable outing.

Kedleston Park 2011 Group Photo

Now on Facebook and Twitter!

Would you prefer keeping in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter? Well, now you can. Visit our Facebook group or find us on Twitter with #markeatonbrook