Home >> News >> South West Peak Spotlight New Accommodations in the South West Peak: Meet ‘Peter’ and ‘Watson’ and the New Look ‘Old Sunday School’

South West Peak Spotlight New Accommodations in the South West Peak: Meet ‘Peter’ and ‘Watson’ and the New Look ‘Old Sunday School’

South West Peak Landscape Partnership

Wed 23 Jun 2021

Launched in 2017, the South West Peak Landscape Partnership is a group of organisations working together and with volunteers to restore, protect, and improve the landscape of the South West Peak area.

With the Peak District National Park as lead partner and the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund this 5-year partnership (with benefits reaching far beyond that time) works with local communities to build stronger connections with the landscape and with each other.

As one of the key partners, Support Staffordshire leads the ‘Engaging Communities Project’ (one of 18 projects which make up the Scheme) which focuses on engaging all people who love the South West Peak; those who live or work in the area or folk who are just visiting.

So far, through our outstanding volunteers who make up our Community Grants Panel, 81 community grant applications have been reviewed, and 68 community grants awarded for 68 different community projects all delivered by passionate and committed volunteers and community groups.

Over the coming months we will be highlighting and celebrating as many of these projects as we can.

In this sixth ‘spotlight’ we are highlighting 2 exciting and amazingly innovative projects:

1. High Peak District Scout Council: Gradbach Scout Camp Camping Pods

High Peak District Scoutings purpose is to promote the development of young people to achieve their full potential, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their communities.

Through Gradbach Scout Camp and its stunning location in the south west peak area of the Peak District National Park, they provide camping and bunkhouse accommodation and activities in the natural environment giving young people an appreciation of, and a sense of responsibility for, their surroundings.

The camping pod project has been funded by a collective of Gradbach Scout Camp, High Peak District Scouting and the National Lottery Heritage Fund through the South West Peak Landscape Partnership

Named ‘Peter’ and ‘Watson’, the pods will primarily be used by High Peak Scouts youngsters aged 14-25, giving them the opportunity to volunteer in the south west peak, developing recreational and conservation opportunities within the breath taking 48 acres of camping land and ancient woodland owned by the campsite.

In addition, the pods will be available to Duke of Edinburgh Leaders, and youngsters who are unable to camp under canvas, to encourage more young people to visit the south west peak area. 

Debbie Rushworth, District Commissioner for High Peak District Scouting said; “This project will help us to sustain access to the Gradbach area and secure the campsite for future generations.”

To find out more about the camping pods named ‘Peter’ and ‘Watson’ visit here: Gradbach_Scout_Camp

To learn more about High Peak District Scouting visit here: High Peak Scouting – Scouting in the High Peak District

2. Fernilee Methodist Chapel: Holiday Accommodation in the Historic High Peak

This incredibly exciting project, involving the local and wider community, as well as attracting support from all over the world, has seen necessary restoration work carried out on the grade II listed Fernilee Methodist Chapel.

South West Peak Landscape Partnership

The restoration involved the conversion of the lower ground floor of the Chapel into fantastic holiday accommodation providing a sustainable way to ensure that the church will remain a part of the community for the next 150 years as income raised through the rental of the ‘Old Sunday School’ will be re-invested into the care and maintenance of the building and activities for the local community.

South West Peak Landscape Partnership


South West Peak Landscape Partnership

Dating back to 1871 and Fernilee Methodist Chapel is set in the hillside overlooking the beautiful Goyt Valley. The holiday accommodation is completely self-contained and accessed independently from the Chapel and offers the opportunity for a truly unique stay in part of an operational chapel within the south west peak area of the wonderful Peak District National Park whilst helping to support and safeguard the heritage of a Peak District village for future generations to come.

“The project gave the local community a focus to do something very special with a significant local building.  This is evidenced by the many wonderful posts on Facebook and Instagram and local fundraising response.”

Rev. Timothy Keith Sandow, Superintendent Minister

For more information about Fernilee Methodist Chapel and the ‘Old Sunday School’ go here:

Fernilee Methodist Chapel and Graveyard | Facebook

Old Sunday School Fernilee | Facebook

To learn more about the South West Peak Landscape Partnership visit: www.southwestpeak.co.uk