South Derbyshire, located in the centre of England, includes the rolling countryside to be found in the valleys of the Rivers Trent and Dove – with historic settlements, including Melbourne, Ticknall and Repton – and the market town of Swadlincote, known for its TG Green Pottery “Cornishware”. In the north of the District, Shardlow on the Trent & Mersey Canal is one of only two inland canal ports to survive largely intact.
The District is at the heart of the National Forest where, in twenty-five years, some 9 million trees have been planted. As Britain’s boldest environmental project, this is a ‘forest in the making’ where part of the nation’s future heritage is being created – providing an extensive green link between the ancient forests of Charnwood and Needwood. The dramatically changing landscape is bringing economic, environmental and social benefits through the creation of woodland sites and attractions for local residents and visitors alike.
As such, South Derbyshire is a largely rural district, with a population of just over 100,000 people. To the north, the District adjoins the city of Derby and to the north west stretches towards Ashbourne and the Peak District. The town of Burton upon Trent in East Staffordshire, famous for its breweries, lies immediately to the west where the Rivers Trent and Dove create the county boundary. The southern and eastern boundaries are shared with the counties of Staffordshire and Leicestershire, and the cathedral city of Lichfield and town of Ashby de la Zouch.
South Derbyshire is steeped in history with stately homes scattered across its hills and valleys. The jewel in the crown is Calke Abbey, the second largest country house in Derbyshire after Chatsworth; Calke is hidden from public view as befitted the home of a reclusive family and offers a fascinating mixture of finery and faded splendour.
The main population and employment centre of the District is Swadlincote, with a population of some 40,000. Other sizeable settlements include the attractive Georgian town of Melbourne and the villages of Hilton, Hatton, Repton and Willington.
Over the last decade South Derbyshire has had one of the fastest growing populations in the country outside of the South East. New homes have been constructed on many smaller sites, plus a number of larger-scale developments, including the following where housebuilding is currently taking place.
- Drakelow: Drakelow Park (David Wilson Homes), Dracan Village (Countryside), Midland Heart, Simple Life Homes, Robin Walk (Bovis Homes)
- East of Derby: Buttercup Leys, Boulton Moor (Persimmon Homes)
- Hartshorne: Hartshorne View (Ashberry Homes), Springwood (Bellway), Woodland Rise (Bellway)
- Hatton: Cherry Meadow (Ashberry Homes), Hatton Court (Bellway Homes)
- Hilton: Hilton Valley (St Modwen Homes), Wakelyn Gardens (Persimmon Homes)
- Swadlincote: Cadley Village (Avant Homes), Gresley Meadow (Taylor Wimpey), Isaac Woods (Cora), Eaton Grange (Cameron Homes)
- West of Derby: Cotchett Village, Mickleover (Avant Homes), Bramble Gate, Mickleover (Bloor Homes), Hackwood Grange, Mickleover (Redrow)
South Derbyshire has many village and local centres, and two town centres – Melbourne and Swadlincote. Swadlincote is the main service centre for the area, and is home to the offices of South Derbyshire District Council.
The area has countless active community organisations, supported by South Derbyshire CVS and an abundance of parks, sports and leisure facilities. South Derbyshire and the National Forest boast a huge range of visitor attractions, events and other things to do.
Residents have access to over sixty primary and secondary schools in South Derbyshire. A number of Further Education Colleges and University Technology Colleges serve South Derbyshire, including: Burton and South Derbyshire College, Derby College, SMB College Group, South Staffordshire College, Stephenson Studio School, The JCB Academy, and the University Technical College Derby Pride Park.
There are numerous universities in neighbouring areas, including: Aston University, Birmingham City University, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University, Staffordshire University, University of Birmingham, University of Derby, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, and University of Warwick.
Information about local health services, including dentists, GP practices, hospitals, opticians and pharmacies in Derby and Derbyshire can be found here.