Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is celebrating the beginning of its 125-year lease of the Roaches.
The Trust and the Peak District National Park Authority are holding an historic handover event today (1 May) at the spectacular 975 acre estate.
BMC representatives will be present. Rob Dyer, BMC access & conservation officer said: “The Roaches is an iconic climbing and walking area and one of the jewels in the crown of the Peak District. It’s great to see the SWT taking a keen interest in walking and climbing and in the BMC as the voice for this community. We’re looking forward to working with them in the future to make sure the interests of climbers and hill walkers are well represented on the estate.”
He continued: "The change in management should have little if any effect on public access as the estate is designated as CROW Open Access land. Hopefully SWT will be embarking on some badly needed footpath repair work, particularly to the steps between the Lower and Upper Tier and just above the steps."
TV naturalist and award-winning wildlife cameraman Simon King will be staging a special fundraising talk for the Trust after the handover event. Simon, who is President of The Wildlife Trusts said: “This is a momentous day for Staffordshire Widllife Trust and the National Park Authority and I’m delighted to be sharing it with them."
The Trust, which is the county’s leading nature conservation charity with over 16,000 members, will be continuing the excellent work of the National Park Authority on the Roaches. Its priorities are to constantly improve the Roaches as a fantastic place for people to visit, ensure it is a thriving wildlife habitat and to provide local people and user groups with many opportunities to get involved in caring for the estate.
Guy Corbett-Marshall, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “As guardians of this magnificent landscape, we’ll work hard to improve access to and enjoyment of the Roaches, as well as protecting and enhancing its unique wildlife.
“The area is protected both nationally and internationally for its wildlife and rare wild habitats, and we’re so lucky to have it on our doorsteps. We’re extremely excited about getting started and we hope that lovers of the Roaches will join us as members so they can support us in caring for this special landscape.”
Jim Dixon, Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority added: “We’re confident that the future of the Roaches is bright for wildlife, walkers, climbers and all who love this unique place, thanks to this far-sighted partnership between the National Park Authority and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.”
One of the first jobs being undertaken by the Trust’s new Roaches warden, Jeff Sim, will be to set up a regular conservation volunteer group to give people an opportunity to get involved in caring for the estate. The group will help to carry out work such as habitat restoration and footpath repairs.
The Trust will be managing the Roaches to make it into a fantastic habitat for wildlife with the support of a 10-year Natural England Higher Level agreement. This will help to fund the management of the land in an environmentally-sensitive way, by, for example, using grazing animals to maintain the precious moorland habitat.
In addition to its designation as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), the Roaches is part of the South Pennine Moors Special Area for Conservation and Special Protection Area. These are both European conservation designations which recognise the area’s internationally important habitats, blanket bog and upland moorland, and for the breeding, feeding, wintering and migration of many rare species.
You can receive email updates from the Trust about the Roaches by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with ‘Roaches update’ in the subject box.
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