The all important decision over the future of the Roaches has been made today, with the announcement that Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will take on a 125 year lease of the estate.
The Roaches, an iconic climbing crag and beauty spot near Leek in Staffordshire, is one of the estates being "disposed of" as part of a wider asset review by the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) due to budgetary pressures.
The Roaches Estate comprises a long thin strip of land with a variety of habitats from open moorland to plantation forest, incorporating a number of important crags such as Hen Cloud, The Roaches, The Five Clouds, The Roaches Skyline and Back Forest.
The Park Authority considered proposals from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, The National Trust and The Land Trust before deciding to entrust Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with the estate's future management.
The BMC’s preferred option was The National Trust due to its experience in land management, dealing with moorland fires and management of visitors to popular areas such as the Roaches. However, the BMC is committed to working with the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to ensure climbers and walkers interests are maintained and that the Roaches remains well managed for both wildlife and people.
The BMC leases Rockhall Cottage from the PDNPA and so has a direct interest in the future management of the estate separate to the climbing and walking.
BBC Radio Stoke is covering the news story and interviewed BMC CEO Dave Turnbull. Listen again at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00ln479. They will be talking to the successful bidder in due course.
Watch this space for interviews with local BMC access reps who will be talking about what the decision means for climbers and walkers.
Link to PDNPA press release.
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