Erewash’s newest green haven

the Pewit site as it looks at the momentA new 25-acre nature reserve is being created on the edge of Ilkeston.

Investment will see Ilkeston’s former Pewit municipal golf course at West End Drive transformed into a haven for nature that the entire community can enjoy.

The new Pewit Coronation Meadows Local Nature Reserve will form an extension of council beauty spots that are already established. These include Straws Bridge – which is celebrated for its Swan Lake.

A long-term 30-year plan for the land is being drawn up with the support of Natural England.

The new nature reserve will boast a mix of woodland planting, fruit trees, grasslands and “open mosaic habitat creation”. This involves a patchwork of varying habitats to support a wide range of plant and animal species.

There will be footpaths and trails. These will link to the wider Nutbrook Trail plus Straws Bridge and the nearby natural havens of Manor Floods and Pewit Carr.

The aim is to enable the consolidation of a much wider area to achieve greater biodiversity and recreational benefit.

Natural England has welcomed the blueprint for the old golf course, which closed in 2022 as the number of people using it dwindled.

It is hoped that the former pavilion building could become an educational centre and coffee shop.

Work on the new nature reserve is getting under way during what is the council’s golden anniversary year and is expected to transform the site by 2025. Residents will see planting taking place and benches installed along with information boards.

Funding for the project comes from what is known as a section 106 payment. This is money the authority is receiving as a result of development at the old Stanton ironworks. The nature reserve will also benefit from levelling-up investment from the government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF).

Residents were asked what the site should be called and voted to retain the name Pewit. The full name -- Pewit Coronation Meadows Local Nature Reserve – pays tribute to the King, who has long been a green champion.