Coordinates: 53°02′46″N 1°29′28″W / 53.046°N 1.491°W / 53.046; -1.491
Wyver Lane Nature Reserve.
|OS grid reference||SK342499|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Wyver Lane Nature Reserve lies west of the River Derwent and just north of Belper. The reserve lays on a nineteen acre site and is part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage path and is also placed on reoccurring flood plain which makes an attractive place to wildlife especially waders. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust leases the area from Amber Valley Borough Council and now manages it as a nature reserve and is one of Derbyshire’s most important wetland reserves. To ensure that the many bird species continue to thrive here there is no access onto the reserve. The reserve consists of two pools both surrounded by water meadows and reed beds. A huge variety of birds have been recorded here over the years.
When Belper Mill was originally built in the 1700's they dammed the River Derwent to channel water to power the Mill. They then raised the river bank north of the Mill where the reserve now stands to try and avoid the river overflowing. Despite this the river breached many times forming several pools which you can see today.In later years the Territorials used the area for shooting practice. You can still see the old firing range at the bottom of the lane. Several Buttresses are still visible. One is the island that is on the left hand side of the main pool. One is barely visible on the right hand side of the main pool. Others have now almost disappeared. If you was to look to the left of where the viewing mound stands you will see an old metal gate post. It was used by the Territorials. If there was a green flag on the gate it was safe to go through. If a red flag then it wasn't. A little further down the lane there is a bricked up hut on the left hand side. This was the ammunition store. Because the Territorials didn't want water on the land they used to pump it into the river. The pump house is the brick building at the southern end of the reserve with the big pipe sticking out. After the Territorials had finished using the land the Amber Valley Council started using it is a tip. The big field that is in front of the viewing mound has all sorts of nasties buried underneath it. In them days there weren’t any laws on what you could and couldn't dump. By burying 1000's of tons of rubbish it pushed any water that was there further up and this created bigger pools. A few local birders still sometimes pump out water into the river to keep the pools low to attract waders. As with most tips it used to be good for Gulls including visits from Iceland and Glaucous Gulls. Eventually the tip closed in the 1970's and things started to settle down. Levels are now controlled by a sluice at the southern end of the main pool. There is also a pipe that leads from the main pool to the river which is bunged during winter to maintain the water levels for wintering wildfowl. Then come spring it's taken out again and if we get a dry summer it should be low enough to attract waders late summer/autumn.