Church Wilne - St Chad's Water
w/e 11 July 2004

St Chad's Church
Not far from the banks of the River Derwent close to its estuary with the Trent and about a mile south of Draycott is the tiny village of Church Wilne. There are few buildings left in what was a mediaeval settlement but the most prominent is this Saxon church. Nearby are some farm buildings where there was the well of St Chad, first Bishop of Lichfield, who ruled over the diocese between 669AD and 672AD. It is said that the well was used for baptising early converts to Christianity.
A Kodak DC280 was used for the image above; the following images of St Chad's Water were taken with a Kodak DX6490
St Chad's Water

A fairly new addition to the landscape is a large expanse of water which the church now overlooks. This has been declared a Local Nature Reserve by Erewash Borough Council and is under the jurisdiction of Draycott Parish Council. The site is managed by Groundwork Erewash Valley. Several wooden wildlife sculptures have been placed at various points around St Chad's Water as part of the enhancement of the former gravel pit.
Woodland Walk

A mile long path enables visitors to circumnavigate the reserve through a number of different habitats part of it, as seen here, being through woodland. There are also meadows, open areas of shoreline and hedgerows which, together with the adjacent farmland, encourage a variety of wildlife.
Through The Branches

It is said that Kingfishers can sometimes be seen flying across the water but obviously not today. Nevertheless, the views across St Chad's Water through the branches of the trees were very pleasant.
Lily Pads

Dragonflies and damselflies are also common sights as well as many other insects, the lily pads at the water's edge often providing a resting place.
Meadow Brown

One of the UK's most widespread species of butterfly is the Meadow Brown and although many colonies have been lost due to agricultural intensification, there were still lots to be seen around St Chad's Water. The site was created during the 1970s after the excavation of gravel but work continues now to improve the recreational and landscape aspects as well as for the benefit of the wildlife and the environment.

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Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.