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Discover the history of Derwent Reservoir on Peak District walk

Posted 7 September 2012
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Discover the history of Derwent Reservoir on Peak District walk
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Many people living in the Peak District National Park or close by will be unaware of its links to one of the most important and daring raids of the Second World War.

This is something the authority's rangers aim to change later this month, when they invite people to put on their walking boots and accompany them on the Dam Builders and Dam Busters guided tour.

It will take place on Saturday September 23rd and will cover four miles around the Derwent Valley, taking in the remains of Tin Town and the Derwent Reservoir itself.

Those interested in going are advised to meet at the Fairholmes Visitor Centre in time for the walk to start at 10:30 BST and it will last until 16:30 BST. Booking is essential as it is likely that interest in this particular walk will be high.

A pay and display car park lies close to the visitor centre for those coming by car, while there are also links to local bus services for people using public transport.

Once the walk begins, participants will be able to discover the history of Tin Town or Birchinlee, which was a model village built especially for the workers who constructed the Derwent and Howden Dams between 1902 and 1916.

However, this is not Derwent's only entry into the history books, as it also became vital in the Second World War when it was chosen as the site on which the RAF's 617 Squadron would practise for Operation Chastise.

This would be the strategic bombing of three major dams on Germany's Ruhr river and Derwent was deemed perfect because of its similarity to them.

Peak District visitors going on the guided walk will be able to learn more about the testing of the bouncing bomb and how the Dam Busters helped to change the course of the conflict.

It is sure to be a fascinating day out for history lovers and those who simply like to go walking alike.