Only four percent of England’s inland waters have clear access for paddle sports. Paddlers are led to believe that only half a mile of the River Derwent is officially ‘open’ within the Derbyshire Dales and paddlesports are not permitted anywhere within the Derbyshire Peak District National Park. You can run, bike, walk and climb freely, but take a boat out on the water and within minutes you’ll be told you’re not welcome. We hope to change this situation and coexist in harmony with other river users in the future. 


The Derwent is navigable by paddle craft from the dams to its confluence with the Trent. In the 12th century Charter of King John its clearly states that “And the Derwent shall be open to navigation by the length of a perch on each side of mid-stream. A perch is an old unit of measurement, about 5 meters in fact! 


Paddle Peak’s aim is to work together with land owners and other water users to ensure everyone can enjoy fair, shared, open access to the river.  We hope one day paddlers will be able to enjoy paddling from the Derwent Dams to the Trent.