I say again – well done National Trust!
The long-awaited NT response to the responses to their consultation document on management of the High Peak is out (click here).
Despite being under lots of pressure from men in tweed the NT have, so far, held their nerve and make a robust response to people’s views. And they did receive views – over 430 responses (a good few from readers of this blog, I know).
Over 80% of the responses were supportive of the vision as laid out in the NT consultation document – that’s a very high level of support and certainly agrees with the views of this blog.
Here are some highlights from what NT are saying:
- 3, for the Trust, conservation quality – its maintenance and where possible enhancement – is a fundamental ‘given’.
- 24, There is plenty of “unoccupied” suitable habitat for birds of prey on the moor. Surveys over the last 2 decades indicate a decline in some raptor numbers and breeding success in and around the High Peak Moors, particularly raven, goshawk and peregrine. Neither food sources nor available nesting habitat have declined. A key outcome of the HPMV&P is to turn this situation around.
- 27, We expect increases in the numbers of birds of prey breeding on the High Peak Moors.
- 28, The plan says “At present we believe that birds of prey are under represented on the NT HP estate. NT is clear that bird of prey persecution on its land is illegal and completely unacceptable. We will be working with future tenants who share this view and are working with us to ensure that birds of prey are successful. Sustainable populations of birds of prey will be a management objective of future tenancies”
- 70, We will be working with tenants who share our aspiration for healthy bird of prey populations and this will be a key factor in determining whether we wish to have a partnership relationship going forward. We will then be judging the success and future of the tenancy relationship in part on the breeding success of birds of prey.
- 115, future tenancies will ban release of non-native gamebirds on NT land.
- 118, use of lead shot will be banned in future leases
- 121, We would like to phase out burning on deep peat (defined as more than 0.5m in depth) as evidence suggests that this practice is damaging to the peat and we do not want damaging practices to continue on habitat of such high conservation quality
- 129, we are being very open about the fact that the work to rewet the dry,heather dominated bog, and make it more diverse, is long term and experimental in nature. Even if the bog does not become active again, rewetting it serves as a conservation measure preventing further oxidation of the peat and providing habitat for moorland plants and invertebrates.
- 138, Re-wilding and wilderness are relative concepts and for many people the High Peak moors are wild. We are certainly looking to de-intensify the management of the moors and restore habitats.
Proofs of puddings are always in eatings, but I’d give NT 8/10 for this. A bit more speed, a bit more emphasis on cattle, a bit tougher line on overwintering of sheep would all be good. Please don’t compromise any further and please don’t cave in to pressure. You have a good vision, one which is clearly support by most (80% you say) people and so why not get on with it secure in the knowledge that most of the world is with you?
If I were sure you would really implement this vision with enthusiasm i would send you some money as a donation today – but I am still a little worried that you might spend too much time listening to men in tweed suits, so my money stays in my pocket for a while longer. But…
…well done National Trust!