Thinking of going for a walk this weekend?

I’ve heard the Peak District National Park, our oldest National Park, is very nice…

Try the road from Manchester to Barnsley (which is also the road from Barnsley to Manchester) near the Woodhead Pass, perhaps…

And the area south of the main road along Middle Small Clough looks nice from the road …

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.4948255,-1.7990796,3a,90y,180h,90.38t/
https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/local/middle-small-clough-barnsley

Well, admittedly you are in an area of intensively burned grouse moor, so it’s not a natural scene …

And the peat is bare and eroding in places and, in this National Park, wildlife is targetted for destruction. Not accidental but intensive, deliberate and callous destruction…

… and then left there, dead and rotting, just to emphasise the point that these are the killing fields of England’s National Parks.

The Glover Review of National Parks, published more than a year ago, praised ‘the brilliant work which has been done to maintain the beauty’ of our National Parks and ducked any discussion of the future role of intensive grouse moor management in National Parks.

When the Glover Review damp squib was published the short-staying DEFRA Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers said;

These landscapes are the jewels in the crown of our countryside and are a cornerstone of our rural economy. We are committed to ensuring they flourish as havens for nature and sites that everyone in the country goes to visit for inspiration, adventure or relaxation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/independent-review-calls-for-radical-plan-for-englands-national-parks

DEFRA, a year later, has not responded to the Glover Review but Prime Minister Johnson’s big green piffle-Pfeffel speech promised that we would increase the coverage of protected areas for nature in the UK from an alleged 26% to 30%. The Peak District National Park with its intensive burning, its bare degrading peat and its dead wildlife on display to all visitors is a ‘protected’ site in twenty-first century Britain.

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9 Replies to “Thinking of going for a walk this weekend?”

  1. You are correct spot on with your description of the area. In fact I would say kind too kind.

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  2. As has been said many times, the truth is we don't have "National Parks". Just a few places with some hurdles for planning permission, overseen by well paid and maybe well intended folk with no real power. The Govt should be taken to Court for fraud ie spending our taxes and telling us they have provided genuine National Parks.

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  3. That night when the Moscar Estate bussed in its workers to your talk in Chesterfield was very educational...

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  4. Just for the sake of accuracy, the trap shown in your photo, with a stoat or weasel in, is a Fenn trap. Fenn traps have been illegal for catching stoats since April 2020, so the photo is likely to be old. Or, it might be that it is being illegally used, but I doubt it.

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    1. Sadly there are Estates that have carried on with them, although I have no knowledge of this particular Estate either way. No doubt if challenged some will say they are for set for rats and weasels. In fairness, I have seen some of the new legal DOC ones on one Estate set very conspicuously
      and exactly within the law. We must just take in on trust that they must have scrapped their old Mk4' s.
      Hopefully they havent been tempted to put them back well out of sight in the drystone walls, in the old traditional way.

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    2. Your comment, Justin, reminds me of all those illegal poisons that have been banned for decades but which strangely keep turning up, either stored on estates, or detected in the bodies of dead raptors.

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  5. This barbarism will continue until we change landownership and how the land is used. With the political and economic system that runs this country it will be a long way off before this happens.

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