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BCA awarded Green Recovery Challenge Fund Grant

Buxton Civic Association receives grant of £249,700 from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

• 68 projects have been awarded grants between £62k and £3.8 million to kick-start a pipeline of nature-based projects while creating and retaining jobs
• First funding round sees £40 million pot allocated, second round of funding to open in early 2021

Buxton Civic Association’s Stronger Roots: Regeneration and healing in Buxton’s Community Woods, is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Defra announced grants between £62,000 and £3.8 million today, to help create and retain thousands of green jobs. The projects, spread across England, will see trees planted - 800,000 in total - and protected landscapes and damaged habitats such as moorlands, wetlands and forests restored, alongside wider conservation work. The projects will also support environmental education and connecting people with green spaces.

BCA’s Stronger Roots project recognises the need to repair the ecological damage caused by ash dieback and the important part our woods played during the Lockdown. Buxton people turned to BCA’s nine community woodlands, our Country Park and SSSI for exercise, play, solace and spiritual refreshment. Their appreciation of and need for our sites highlighted the urgency of our work in nature care and nature conservation. This project will accelerate that, enabling us to reach more people faster, whilst responding to the ash dieback crisis. With our partners and the community, we will create flourishing woodlands with enhanced biodiversity and build ecological, social and economic resilience.

The key elements of the project are;
Nature conservation/restoration
• Repair ecological damage, especially that caused by ash dieback
• Create regeneration clearings
• Collect local tree seeds and cuttings; documentation; community involvement
• Tree nursery; growing seeds to forest transplant size
• Fell/pollard trees; maintain public safety; create deadwood habitat
• Repair drystone walls
Nature-based solutions
• Woodland restoration
Connecting people with nature
• Nature Connectedness innovation and research project
• Nature-based well-being activity programme
• Programme of nature care events for groups with additional needs
• New community theatre experience, celebrating woodland regeneration
• Expanded Forest Schools programme
• Nature-based play facilities
• Art projects with local artists collective
• Targeted engagement with disadvantaged groups
• Multi-media outreach/information campaign for the wider community
It will create three new posts; diverse training, volunteer, work experience opportunities; most suitable for young people.

BCA Chairman, Peter Phillipson said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant. This year our core funding has been hit badly, but it is essential that we plan for the future and we are extremely excited by the projects that will be enabled through this funding. The money will provide us with a brilliant opportunity to help bring even more people into our woods in Buxton and to give them all the healing benefits that result from close contact with nature. At the same time, it enables us to redress some of the devastation caused in the last two years by Ash dieback disease and to kick start the process of regenerating the woods for the future. We are pleased that it will give us a chance not only to provide employment for three new members of staff but also provide an opportunity to support some local green freelancers and will support several small local environmental arts and wellbeing organisations.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:
“These projects will drive forward work across England to restore and transform our landscapes, boost nature and create green jobs, and will be a vital part of helping us to build back greener from coronavirus.

“I look forward to working with environmental organisations as these projects help address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, while creating and retaining jobs as part of the green recovery.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“Supporting our natural environment is one of the most valuable things we can do right now. All these projects are of huge benefit to our beautiful countryside and wildlife, but will also support jobs, health and wellbeing, which are vitally important as we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.”

The government’s forthcoming Environment Bill puts the environment at the centre of policy making to ensure that we have a cleaner, greener and more resilient country for the next generation. The fund is supporting a range of nature conservation and recovery and nature-based solutions projects, which will contribute towards government’s wider 25 Year Environment Plan commitments, including commitments to increase tree-planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025.

Notes to editors
• 21 projects will receive the larger grants (over £250k - £5m) and 47 projects awarded funding for the smaller grants (£50 - £250k).


The Geology of Grinlow

Professor Richard Pattrick discusses the geology of Grinlow and the surrounding areas in his paper titled "Grinlow Vein Mineralisation." To read the paper please click on the link below.

Outcrop of Bee Low Limestone containing calcite-barite veins and vein brecias (the Cow Vein Suite) on Grinlow Hill. Photo Professor R Pattrick

To read Professor Pattrick's paper click on the link

A Night at the Crescent

BCA Members Jon and Dia White write about their stay at the newly refurbished Buxton Crescent Hotel

So we decided to stay at the Buxton Crescent Hotel.

Booking duly took place and we were all set with bed and breakfast in one of their Classic rooms, dinner in the restaurant, and an Indian Head Massage for Mrs. W. All good, especially as we were booked a week after they opened, hopefully allowing any opening gremlins to be eliminated. We took advantage of their “opening offer” rate, so that was good too!

The date arrived, so we took a taxi from home to The Crescent. The taxi driver was most amused to be dropping us off right at the entrance: it was the first time he had had a fare to the hotel and we all felt some apprehension when arriving at the grand building which we have known empty for so long.


Like ourselves, the guests eager to make the most of their stay meant that the 15.00 check-in time was a bit busy, but we were soon on our way. What we particularly noted was the high level of compliance with Covid regulations, so we felt that we were in a very safe environment. The Concierge (Phil - originally from Fairfield) showed us to our room personally and gave us a quick guide to the layout of the building.

We quickly unpacked and by 15.20 were in robes and swimming gear, in search of the spa. It was easy to find (follow the mermaids: really) and then we had our first sight of the true Crescent experience.

There is no doubt that no expense has been spared in the creation of this hotel. We all know that it has taken years and years and cost an enormous amount of money but one look at the inside and you can see where it has been spent. The astonishing interior, the sumptuous materials but above all how the original baths have been incorporated into this modern development is a miracle of engineering and imagination.

We hope that these pictures speak for themselves (see the gallery above). The hotel has 80 rooms and was about 60% occupied. It was quiet. We lounged in the relaxation pool (stars in the ceiling and gently changing colours), glowed in the sauna (three different ways to cook yourself), threw ice at each other (not really, though it was close), and relaxed in the lounging pool (hard to find words to bring these experiences to life). Mrs. W went off for her Indian head massage which she described as “very good” and was carried out by an ex-University of Derby Spa Management graduate, originally from Chapel. Nice.

The lounging pool

I continued to enjoy the outdoor pool. An outdoor pool in Buxton in October in the rain? Sounds bracing but it was fantastic. Hot water steaming away, with a cold rain falling! It can be seen from street level and is on that new section that you see when walking down George Street. It has a great view over towards the Dome with glass surrounds cleverly keeping a layer of warm air over the pool.

When you have had enough, just go through the connecting tunnel into the main pool. Everyone should experience this once in their life! When it snows, “we’ll be back”. But time marched on and we started to think about dinner.

However, as we had a 19.30 booking there was time to nip out and visit our favourite local hostelry. How strange it was to leave the hotel, visit a pub and then go back to the hotel – just like being on holiday! By then we were ready for dinner. One look at the menu tells you all you need to know: superb.

The next morning I took an early dip as we had a leisurely breakfast booked for 09.15. Our waiter (Simon) was brilliant – like all the staff, chatty, interested, and helpful, but an hour later we were all done and had a final wander through the labyrinth of the hotel, discovering the bar, the “upstairs rooms” and other delights. The Cultural Experience areas are yet to open but we felt that we had had our full Crescent Experience and were all set to depart.

We continued to be struck by two things. Firstly, the simple good taste on show, managing to incorporate the magnificent history of the building in both portraiture and art. The furnishings were traditional, yet modern and finished to the highest standard throughout.

We were delighted to see that there were several items from the original baths which had been painstakingly restored. In around 1998, we (along with Trevor Gilman and others) were taken on a tour of the baths by Richard Tuffrey. The old tools and carts were still there and it is now great to see that they and a host of other original baths items make up some of the hotel fixtures and fittings.

Secondly: the level of training demonstrated by the staff as they are working in a 5-star hotel and will need to be the best of the best. We were impressed.
As with arrival, guests all seemed to want to check out at 11.00, so we had a short wait in spite of the efficiency of this process. A 5-minute taxi ride returned us home to the real world and we have spent a rather bemused afternoon looking at photos and wondering if it was all a dream…


BCA Opposes the Derbyshire Badger Cull

Vaccinating Derbyshire's Badgers

Photo Copyright A.Parkinson 2020 vision

Vaccinating Derbyshire's Badgers

The Trustees of BCA have agreed that we WILL NOT give permission for badgers to be culled on any land we own in & around #Buxton

Badgers are not the main cause of the spread of TB in cattle. Vaccination is the best way of keeping Badgers free of TB.

Full Press Release