Woolley is 200 metres East down The Track

Before the Reservoir

 Before the reservoir, this was the site of Amber Valley Camp School, built by the National Camps Corporation in 1939. 

The buildings were of Canadian Red Cedar wood and designed by Thomas Smith Tait (1882 - 1954), a Scottish Modernist Architect who designed many prestigious buildings, including the Kodak building in London and the pylons for Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Camp School played a significant part in the wartime history of Brackenfield. The boys of Derby School were evacuated here for the duration of WW11. 

The nearest railway station was Stretton, one and a half miles away. Ex-pupil Peter Pollard recounts how he tramped to the camp to borrow a trek cart, returned to the station to collect his luggage then dragged the load back to camp, usually on his own!

Peter also recounts how the boys had a bathing pool in the river Amber and describes how he impaled his face on a barbed wire fence by the embankment of the Ashover Light Railway, whilst tobogganing down the slope on the Eastern side of the Valley: "My word, you have been in the wars" said Matron as she stitched me up.

Recollections (audio)

Listen to an account of a young girl’s walk home to Amber Valley Camp from Stretton School and learn how to make a poppy doll:

The boarding school closed in July 1945 and after the war the camp was run by Derby Education Committee as a school for city children to experience the countryside. The camp was demolished by 1958 when Ogston Reservoir was constructed. The dining hall is the only building to remain and it is used as the clubhouse by Ogston Sailing Club.

After the Reservoir

Two hundred yards East, down the Track, is Ogston Sailing Club and a public car park and picnic area owned by Severn Trent. You have extensive views of Ogston reservoir and access to a public bird hide.

Ignore the sign for Public Toilets. They have been closed for years!

Ogston Reservoir is owned and managed by Severn Trent Water and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The reservoir and surrounding area, with habitats including farmland and woodland, is one of Derbyshire’s premier bird watching sites and is home to Ogston Bird Club. It is an important site for spring and autumn passage migrants and is one of the country’s top inland sites for watching and recording Gull roosts during the winter months. Ogston Bird Club organise public bird walks and publish lists of birds sighted near the reservoir. http://www.ogstonbirdclub.co.uk/

There is also occasionally an ice cream van selling refreshments.

The sailing club boats can often be seen out on the water and there are competitive events too. It was here that yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur began her sailing career. 

Where next?

If you would like to take a detour to Ogston Reservoir Car Park, picnic area and public bird hide, turn left down the Track and where this joins Quarry Lane, turn right. You will see the car park ahead. (NB No toilets.)

Turn right up “the Track” and when the lane bends to the right, take a left turn left towards Walnut Farm. Before reaching the farm take the first left towards the reservoir. Pass through a stile or gate. Follow the footpath down towards Ogston reservoir, keeping the hedge on your left. This brings you to QR plaque 8 on a post in the hedge line.