Group members

Group members March 2017

Jane Hatton - Volunteer Group Coordinator for the White Peak 

I love exploring new places and have been lucky enough to live in a handful of wonderful countries but I firmly believe that there is nothing quite like Derbyshire and the White Peak in particular!
As a child, my family and I often enjoyed cycling in the White Peak with a stand out memory being a trip to Middleton Top (Route 54) in deepest, darkest January where we took my little sister to try out her new bike. The ride was brief but much fun was had and birthday cake eaten!
I took on the role of Volunteer Group Coordinator in early 2017 (from our very wise and capable Clyde) and I am still learning the ropes but have high hopes and bags of enthusiasm! I am super excited to get stuck in and get even more of the public outside and using these fantastic routes that we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.
Route recommendation: Route 549 past Wetton Mill. Not only is it a gorgeous route but on a hot sunny day you can have a paddle (and an ice cream if you’re lucky) near the café at Wetton Mill.
If you fancy volunteering, have spotted a problem on your local route or just want to know more about what we do please feel free to get in touch.
Pen portrait of David Gray
Age & family 61; married to Jenny with two adult children and 2 young grand-children. they all live in Cheltenham and we try to get to see them all about once a month. Jenny and I live in Bakewell with easy access to the Monsal Trail, which I use regularly
Work:  I am a Chartered accountant of some 36 years experience, having worked in the profession for 10 years, a private company as FD for 5 years, 5 years creating my own business and then 20 years with HMRC. I currently work in Sheffield, although I only work 3 days a week on a partial retired basis
Interests: I am very much an activity person. I played competitive rugby up to the age of 43, winning my first representative game for Derbyshire at age of 40. I still run regularly, although not competitively and just for fun and to de-stress. In 2017 I am hoping to run the Berlin and Copenhagen 1/2 marathons as part of short break city tours. I love travelling and meeting new people. Its not just the places you visit but the people you meet when you're there that makes those places so great. Best holiday ever? Probably a self arranged cycling holiday to Cuba!
I love the UK as well and there is still lots we haven't seen. Favourite place: probably Scottish islands off the west coast and coastal area of Highlands
Cycling: definitely not a Mamil!!! Had a go at track cycling last year at Derby velodrome, but not something I want to do regularly. Do regular off road cycling each week with my two neighbours, but no time to do as much, or as far afield as we used to do. Increasingly Jenny and I are arranging our own cycling holidays. We have just about completed Scottish Islands and are 2/3 of the way along River Danube from source to Black sea. Last year we did a week's trip in Sardinia, which was excellent. I organise fully at least one 5-10 day cycling trip per year for a group of friends with as many as 12-15 people  on each one. Last year we did Paris to Normandy along the Seine Valley and this year we are doing a circuit around Pembrokeshire.

Pen portrait of Paul Watson
Age & family 71; married to Ruth with no children.  We live in an isolated barn conversion on the ridge between Dovedale and the Manifold valley not far from the Tissington and Manifold Trails.  We do more walking than cycling but still do the round trips to Ashbourne, Hartington and Bakewell from time to time.
Work:  I am a retired International Development Consultant though I started my career in the aircraft industry and later had a seven year spell in the tea industry. 
Interests: My lifetime interest has been country and mountain walking in UK and abroad.  Almost all of our holidays are walking holidays; last year we walked in Gran Canaria, Wales, the Isle of Wight Coast Path, the Bulgarian Pirin mountains and Corsica.  This year we’ll walk in Lanzarote, the Italian Dolomites and Austria plus others yet to be arranged.  Now that I’m retired I also have time for circuit training, running, Pilates and swimming as well as cycling. 
Cycling: We both have Trek Navigator hybrid bikes and have done several expeditions from home on them: to Spurn Head and back through Lincoln, up to Leeds several times.  However, we’ve done very little cycling abroad: just the ascent of Mount Teide (see the blog) and island hopping along the Dalmatian coast.
Favourite Rides: The route from Shirebrook to Boston via NCN routes 648, 6, 647, 64 and 1 – especially route 1 from Lincoln to Boston (the Water Rail Way) and 648 from Shirebrook to Warsop.  Can’t wait for 648 to join up with 680 in our patch.  Secondly, route 67 between Royston and Cold Hiendley – part of the Trans Pennine Trail northern link to Leeds.  On this stretch you could think you were in the middle of primeval forest.

Pen Portrait of Robin Kelly

Like the rest of you, I’m a coconut…. but a little shy. I’m married to Karen. She’s also a coconut -  some would say kooky.

I took early retirement from my job as a GP in 2013 (due to a hearing problem and slightly dodgy eye) and decided I wanted to do some outdoor voluntary work. An online search revealed that Sustrans were looking for people to be Active Travel Champions. At the time I was living in Sutton Coldfield and I was quickly whisked into the Sustrans office in the centre of Birmingham where I completed a course in an afternoon. Within a few days I was representing the organisation at fetes, university open days and other community events, and enjoyed talking to people about the various cycle routes around the city. In between rides I helped with workdays pulling up Himalayan Balsam and stinging nettles from some of the cycle routes in parks.

I also linked up with Bike North Birmingham who put me on a ride leaders course and sent me off with some experienced ride leaders taking people on a weekly ride through parks and eventually on roads to places like Lichfield. This group was called the ‘Easy Riders’ and were mainly retired people getting back into cycling. Our job as ride leaders was to give them confidence on the road and listen to their awful jokes. They were an impressive bunch of folk and just before I moved to Ashbourne they were working with some primary schools in less well-off parts of Birmingham where they were teaching kids how to ride their bikes.

The funny thing is, before my retirement and involvement with Sustrans I wasn’t a keen cyclist and don’t have anywhere near the cycling experience of some others in the White Peak Rangers. But I’m trying hard to catch up: being involved with cycling has motivated me to get in touch with some old school friends who I knew were cyclists and we’ve had some great rides together.

One of my favourite rides is the NCN route 535 from Brookvale Park to Birmingham city centre: from the park you are quickly riding alongside the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and then under Spaghetti Junction which is a weird, cathedral-like space with soaring columns and splashes of sunlight reflecting from the waterways below.  There are a number of canals, rivers, railways and roads that sort of cross under and over each other at Spaghetti Junction. Next time you are passing junction 6 on the M6 just think about all that civil engineering going on beneath the motorway. You won’t see any of it unless you get on your bike!


Hello! I am Clyde, married to Sylvie with two grown-up ‘children’ and living sometimes in Matlock, sometimes in France. As a kid I used to ride my bicycle around my native Croydon, and with a couple of mates once rode all the way to Cornwall and back on a youth-hostelling holiday soon after we’d finished our O-levels. In my late teens, I got into motorbikes and gave up on cycling when I had my bicycle nicked at university. At the tender age of 49, when looking for something healthy to do, I became a Born Again Cyclist and I’ve been cycling for the last 21 years. To earn a crust, I used to work in post-16 education, teaching mostly A-level Mathematics, later Geology, Chemistry, Physics, etc in sixth-form and tertiary colleges. In the last five years of my working life, I was a tutor, then manager at a further education college for students with physical disabilities, a very fulfilling job which took me to retirement.  

I heard about Sustrans in 2000 and joined as a volunteer Ranger then. I was allocated Route 6 from Derby to Nottingham and I did a lot of the early signing along that route. In the same year I led a group of volunteers from Derby to Lichfield along Route 54 as part of the “Longest Day”, a celebration of the first 5000 miles of the National Cycle Network. When I retired from paid work in 2007, I determined to do more as a ranger and I was active in the Erewash Valley and later in the White Peak, from which I recently resigned as group coordinator.

I’ve never been a fast rider, but I like to cover some reasonable distances. Each spring I ride with a gang of mates – all East Midlands Sustrans rangers – in a different part of the British Isles or Europe; last year was Holland, this year France. Although now getting older and weaker (!), I still aim to ride 100 km a week on my bike. I am attempting to cover, little by little, the whole of the NCN, although now at 14 000 miles – and growing all the time - this is beginning to look rather ambitious! Favourite cycle rides? Any dedicated cycle path alongside a river or canal always makes for a pleasant trip – try the River Mayenne towpath in central France, which passes by beautiful old mills, weirs and locks, and seems to go on for ever! 

Contact:  07855804451


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