Circular cycle and walking route around Derwent and Howden Reservoir  set for temporary closure for forest management 

5th September 2022

Visitors to the Upper Derwent Valley area of the Peak District National Park are being advised of the temporary closure of part of a road that runs around the West side of Derwent and Howden reservoirs.  

From Monday 12th September, a section of the route along the western edge of the reservoirs will be closed to allow for management of the neighbouring woodland.  There will be no vehicle, pedestrian or cycle access for the public during this time. 

The closure means that a popular circular route running around the two reservoirs often starting and finishing at the nearby Fairholmes visitor centre will not be available for the duration of the closure. 

The work will be undertaken through a Statutory Plant Health Notice, a legal directive from the Forestry Commission to remove infectious trees and is expected to take approximately three months.  

Phytophthora ramorum, sometimes referred to as ‘larch disease’, is a disease that has affected large areas of larch plantations in the UK – including within the Peak District - and will cause an infected tree to die very quickly. The work will help to reduce the spread across the woodlands. 

The site, which includes the reservoirs and woodland, is managed by Severn Trent.  

Dan Taberner, Severn Trent, said: “As part of the ongoing management of these forest plantations it’s necessary to fell trees to maintain the health of the woodlands and in some locations, it will be necessary to have machinery operating from the road. To ensure that the work can be carried out safely, we will need to close part of the road from Fairholmes roundabout to West End.  

“While this means that cyclists and walkers won’t be able to complete a full circuit around Derwent and Howden on this road, a series of alternative routes will still be open around Ladybower and the East side of Derwent and Howden reservoir. We know that this is a popular route, and we would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.”  

The Peak District National Park Authority have confirmed that both the Fairholmes visitor facilities and Upper Derwent bike hire centre will continue to remain fully open for visitors to enjoy other existing and alternative routes in the area.  

Once the felling process is complete, the area will be restocked with a mix of native and forestry stock trees, which are more resilient to diseases, with all works carried out to minimise the impact to residents, wildlife and visitors.  

For more information on Severn Trent’s visitor sites, visit: