Based in the National Stone Centre Site
The National Stone Centre trail guide, covering the geology, ecology and history of our site, is available for a small charge from our Discovery Centre.
The trail largely follows an undulating natural route, but where possible, alternatives have been provided to the steeper slopes thanks in part to the support from the Derbyshire Aggregates Levy Grant Scheme. The three themed trails each visit most of the locations on a single route, but the order of the stops may vary from trail to trail to best suit the storyline. The length of the basic trail is c750m or about half a mile, with options to extend beyond this.
Extracts from the Trail brochure:
Geology Trail - an introduction > > >
The NSC is all about stone, but how was the stone formed? It is necessary to create an image of those ancient environments in which the rocks began - dating back 330 million years, the Lower Carboniferous - a time when Britain was just south of the equator and Derbyshire was a series of tropical seas, crisscrossed by deep water gulfs, shallow lagoons with fringing and patch reefs.
Extract from Point 5
This area was once fields, but quarrying has revealed the first few metres of the Earth's crust. The limestone beds here were deposited as flat layers of limey mud at the bottom of a broad, shallow tropical lagoon.
Ecology Trail - an introduction > > >
The dramatic terrain of the NSC site provides varied light, shade and moisture conditions, producing a rich variety of plants seen at all stages of development. This, and the warm south-facing slopes at the head of the Ecclesbourne Valley, attracts burnet moths and butterflies. Six former quarries illustrate the colonisation process from bare rock to woodland.
Extract from Point 10
Walk onto the level ground to the left of the gradually sloping path. The small plants here include the best collection of plants adapted to grow on lead mine spoil to be found at the Centre - leadwort, hairy rock cress, whitlow grass, St John's wort and eyebright.
History Trail - an introduction > > >
The History Trail is a story of the winning of natural resources. The Romans certainly mined lead ore in the area and mining continue until the 19th Century, when quarrying took over as the main industry.
Extract from Point 3
Pass under the arch carrying the 17 mile long High Peak Trail over Old Lane. The trail used to be the Cromford and High Peak Railway - opened in 1830 linking the Cromford Canal with the canals of Lancashire.
A trail guide containing these three National Stone Centre Trails is available for a small charge from the Discovery Centre
A series of nine circular walks, all along designated public rights of way, have been designed to cover various mining and quarrying industries in the south eastern part of the Peak District. A guide covering all nine walks is also available from the Discovery Centre
Heritage Lottery Fund, Nationwide Building Society
and the Countryside Agency