National Trust – looking good!

The National Trust has just issued a press release on its plans for the High Peak Moors.

This has been a subject of concern and hope on this blog for quite some time (see here, here, here, here, and here).

The text of the press release is reproduced below (with some good bits highlighted by me).

Here is a link to the details – which I have only skimmed – but it looks good!  I will return to this next week after a thorough read.


50-Year Project Aims To Breathe New Life into The Uplands

The National Trust’s “biggest and most ambitious” landscape-scale nature conservation initiative is being launched in the Peak District today.

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, 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.

They cover 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, essential elements of the much loved Peak District National Park, which is visited by more than 10 million people each year.

A remarkable landscape is made all the more special by the fact it is nestled between Sheffield and Manchester close to the homes of millions of people.

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.”

Conservation work will restore habitats such as bogs and heaths on the moor tops and heathland and woodlands in steep valleys, known as cloughs.

The blanket bogs, rich in peat, on the moors are of national and international significance.  It’s vital that this fragile habitat is maintained because severe erosion can release carbon into the atmosphere and have a knock-on effect on the quality of drinking water from peat ending up in reservoirs.

The peat found in the uplands of the UK has as much carbon as the forests of Britain and France combined and the High Peak moors alone store the equivalent of two years carbon emissions from the city of Sheffield.

A priority for the vision will be to keep the bogs wet through for example blocking gullies that have eroded the landscape and making sure that there is plenty of vegetation cover.  Work has already begun on this on the plateau of Kinder Scout.

Work will also begin to increase the spread of trees and shrubs – both naturally and through planting – in the valleys to help restore lost wildlife habitat and a key part of the landscape, improve water quality and help conserve soils.

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.

One longer term measure of the success of the vision would be creating the right conditions for the black grouse to return to the moors; an upland bird that disappeared from the Peak District in the 1990s.

Jon Stewart added: “We have learnt a huge amount about how managing these moors to boost their wildlife and restore the landscape can also have massive benefits for our drinking water quality, flood management, carbon storage and people’s enjoyment, health and well-being.

“They are in effect a life support system.  Managing the moors in tune with these benefits we believe provides the best way forward for those making their living from the moors as well.

“So 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.”


13 Replies to “National Trust – looking good!”

  1. Is it a positive step or good PR?
    “management of the area will be based on constructive,forward looking partnership with Tenants, communtities,organisations and users”. Wasn’t it some of the NT’s tenants part of the problem in relation to bird of prey persecution, so what will change, it certainly won’t be some of the tenants beliefs.
    Look at Section 3 page 17-“All land management such as farming and shooting will enhance delivery of our conservation objectives”…really so will the shhoting communitiy stop using lead shot on NT land? Isn’t some of the problems/lack of birds of prey down to the shooting community? And the aren’t some of the farmers and the livestock also part of the problem with over grazing.
    Also read section 5.1 page 19 and the last paragraph in particular.
    Section 7.4 pg 33 also worth looking at.
    Actually the section on dog walkers is bigger then the section/s that should interest most of the readers on here!
    Still at least the NT are apparently offering tours of the Big Brother house, National Trust or No Trust

  2. I am very impressed by NT,they seem to be doing a difficult job really well trying hard to take responsible steps and having attractions for almost everyone which of course they do to get lots of subs but good luck to them.They will never get everything right in such a big organisation but they have good intentions and moving in the right direction.

  3. Looks a bit like the upland vision that natural England released and then …….unreleased. Well done NT.

  4. I have not read the document, nor do I intend to. We have enough problems in our area due to NE and other organisations. What I would ask is, have surveys been carried out to ensure that any work done does not have a negative impact on the wildlife already there?

  5. I hope they have carried out a good baseline survey so that they can show how badly the biodiversity suffers as they manage the moors spectacularly badly….or not as the case may be!

    Well done NT.

  6. Actually there are a few black grouse on the moors to the north of Sheffield. There was a reintroduction by the RSPB a few years ago which was abandoned but there are still a few birds left.

    1. Gerard – I’d be surprised if there was an RSPB Black Grouse reintroduction but I can’t be sure about that.

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