Welcome to the website of the Chesterfield Canal Partnership. The Partnership works for the preservation, restoration and sustainable development of the Chesterfield Canal - one of England’s earliest and most fascinating navigations. We hope you will find this web site informative about our aims, strategy, members, work and the progress we are making towards the full restoration of the Chesterfield Canal and the growth of a true “Waterway for All”.
Reaching forty-six miles from the edge of the Peak District to the River Trent the Chesterfield Canal has attractions equal to those on any of Britain’s waterways. It passes through open countryside, quiet villages and historic towns; climbs up and down flights of locks; meanders along river valleys and once negotiated one of this country’s longest canal tunnels.
After a century of prosperity the canal, like so many, declined in the face of railway competition and economic change. By the late 1950’s commercial traffic on the canal had ceased and the canal had dwindled from 46 miles and 65 locks to 25.5 miles and 16 locks. Further closure was prevented by vigourous campaigns and by the 1980s there was growing support for the restoration of the canal.
The Chesterfield Canal Partnership was formalised in 1995 to co-ordinate restoration efforts and pool expertise. The ambition is simple; to restore the whole of the waterway to full public use.
Much has been achieved: By 2008 37 miles and 51 locks were in navigation and plans are in place for the remaining nine miles.
Now recognised in national reviews as one of the leading inland waterways schemes in England, the Chesterfield Canal Partnership works to protect, restore and enhance the environment and heritage of the canal, whilst promoting the sustainable development of its social, economic and environmental potential to benefit all sectors of the community. Working with all its partners and the communities they represent it pursues the development of sustainable solutions to the long term maintenance of the canal.