Vision set for High Peak moors

Posted by Tina Gardner on 20/09/2013
Seeking to restore the landscape from its current condition (bottom) to its former glory (top). Photo: National Trust

The National Trust's “biggest and most ambitious” landscape-scale nature conservation initiative has been launched in the Peak District today (20 September).

It aims to inspire people and involve them in restoring a landscape of healthy peat bogs, diverse heaths and natural woodland rich in wildlife. 
 
With input from a wide range of people and organisations including the BMC, the Trust has mapped out a bold new 50-year vision for 10,000 hectares (40 square miles) of land it looks after in the High Peak moors.   
 
The area covers the boulder-strewn landscapes of rocky tors, dramatic valleys and cloughs and mile upon mile of wild and remote bog and heath. The iconic Kinder Scout and the spectacular Upper Derwent Valley are perhaps the best known parts and are essential elements of the much loved Peak District National Park.
 
Jon Stewart, National Trust General Manager for the Peak District, said: “This dramatic, beautiful and fragile landscape is the ideal place for the biggest and most ambitious work that the Trust has ever undertaken to develop a clear road map for one of its upland estates.  
 
“Whilst there is much to celebrate about the moors and their valley-sides there are massive management challenges such as eroding peat, drying out bog, lost woodland, suppressed heathland vegetation and maintaining good access.  We want to work with those who care for and have a stake in their future to address these challenges...
 
"...this vision is all about working with people to care for the land whether our farm tenants, partners or the many people that passionately love the Peak District to restore the landscape and habitats, provide fantastic access to a wild place, deliver better water quality and care for the carbon in these upland soils.”
 
Conservation work will restore habitats such as bogs and heaths on the moor tops and heathland and woodlands in steep valleys, known as cloughs.  By creating the right conditions it will be possible for valued species such as birds of prey, red grouse and mountain hare to call the High Peak moors home in the decades to come. 
 
BMC volunteer Henry Folkard, who was invited to speak at the launch said: 
"The BMC wholeheartedly welcomes ethos which underpins this High Peak Moors vision and plan. It is a vision which inspires. In particular, the vision tells us the National Trust’s perception for this place and recognises the value of the High Peak moors for people who find their own sense of place in these great open spaces and skyscapes. 
 
"It draws on outcomes for conservation and landscape: shared benefits, benefits for wildlife, for landscape, for access, for enjoyment and for adventure.  The BMC believes access and conservation go together. We champion responsible access for quiet enjoyment, and not absolute access for anybody who wants to do anything. We feel this has been embraced in the vision.”
 


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