2021 will be a very special year in the Derwent Valley in Derbyshire… and, if you are a photographer, you can be a part of it. 

Professional photographers ASHLEY FRANKLIN and IAN DAISLEY, both based in the Derwent Valley, are producing – in conjunction with the Arkwright Society – the first ever photo book of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.  There will also be an exhibition of the best images which will tour Cromford Mills, Belper Mill, Darley Abbey Mills and Derby Silk Mill.

The book – and subsequent touring exhibition – will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the World Heritage Site, the 50th anniversary of the Arkwright Society and the 250th anniversary of Sir Richard Arkwright building – in Cromford – the world’s first water-powered cotton mill.  2021 is also the 300th anniversary of the Derby Silk Mill.

The book, which will be published in the autumn of 2021, will comprise many photos by Ashley and Ian but they are keen to see the images of many other photographers.

Ashley and Ian are inviting you to submit your images of the Derwent Valley Mills.

Every photographer included in the book will be given a complimentary copy of this £25 hardback publication and there will be handsome cash prizes for the best images.

There are three categories you can enter:

Industrial Heritage – this valley was at the hub of the Industrial Revolution and, even more significantly, started the factory system which still impacts on our lives today.   There are five major mills along the valley as well as Leawood Pumphouse (pictured), High Peak Junction and Middleton Top Engine House.

People & Places – this is where we look to celebrate the landscape and the people who live, work and play within this landscape.

Wildlife – the Derwent Valley is rich in flora and fauna, notably along the River Derwent and Cromford Canal.  There are also seven nature reserves within the World Heritage Site.

We also welcome images taken on the fringes of the valley so that we can include places and landmarks like Heage Windmill, Crich Stand, Lumsdale Falls, Middleton Top and Crich Tramway Museum.

We are currently seeking sponsorship deals which will enable us to award cash prizes of £500 for the winner of each category, with £250 and £100 for the images placed second and third respectively.

As the book is being published in the autumn of 2021, photographers have all four seasons in front of them to explore and shoot the valley.  The closing date for entries is July 15th with each photographer able to submit up to 15 images.

More details can be obtained on the project website:


There is also an audio-visual on YouTube explaining more about the project: