Schoolchildren discover Tracks, Trails and Trains

Children from two schools in Wirksworth have launched a new walking booklet celebrating local history, environment and the railway.

The Tracks, Trails and Trains walking guide features lots of interesting activities for children to take part in, both on the walk itself and at home with their families. There are places to spot and unusual words to discover along the walk, as well as nature challenges, creative activities and railway safety lessons.

The Tracks, Trails and Trains booklet is also displayed on four information panels located around the town, funded through community rail grants obtained by the Derwent Valley Line CRP from Community Rail Network and East Midlands Railway.

To celebrate the launch of the guide, pupils from Wirksworth Infant School and Wirksworth Junior School joined representatives from Community Rail Network, Derwent Valley Line CRP, East Midlands Railway, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth Heritage Centre and the local council to follow the two-mile trail.

Starting from Wirksworth Station, located between the Infants and Junior schools, the group followed local paths to Bolehill, with fine views over the historic town of Wirksworth before visiting the National Stone Centre. They returned past Ravenstor Station and through the town, to enjoy their lunch back at Wirksworth Station on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway – once known as the Milk and Honey Line.

Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, chair of the Derwent Valley Line CRP, said: “The Tracks, Trails and Trains walking booklet is a wonderfully creative way to involved children in the railway and their local environment. It has been a pleasure to support this great initiative with Wirksworth Infants School and Wirksworth Junior School.”

Paul Webster, support and development officer at Community Rail Network, said: “Travelling by train opens up so many exciting possibilities. It’s not just the journey, but the wildlife, environment and historic sites that can be found near to railway stations.

“We are so pleased to have been able to support the production of this book and information boards and are sure that many children (and adults too!) will enjoy discovering Wirksworth in a fun way and finding out more about the local history and hidden stories of this scenic town.”

Alexa Stott, East Midlands Railway community ambassador, said: “East Midlands Railway is delighted to have been able to support this project. Promoting railway safety, both at heritage railways like the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and on the UK rail network, is very important to us. Thanks to the Tracks, Trails and Trains booklet, young people will be able to learn this life-saving message in a fun and engaging way.”

The Tracks, Trails and Trains walking guide can be downloaded here.

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from the Derwent Valley Line CRP via their website.