High Peak Moors Vision and Plan in the Dark Peak

Impression of High Peak Moors Plan

In September 2013 we launched our 50 year Vision for the High Peak Moors and have been busy since then putting our ideas and plans into practice. Here’s an update of what’s been happening.

Trees and shrubs in the valleys and cloughs

Last spring nearly 5000 native trees such as birch, rowan and hawthorn were planted in the Upper Derwent Valley by rangers, volunteers, members of the public and contractors. Anyone can help with the work by coming to one of our Muck In Days - check our 'What's on' page for details of upcoming events.
 
We’ve involved young people in the work at an early stage, so they can see the differences they’ve made to the moors over their lifetimes. To this end the ‘Treegeneration’ project was launched and children from Bamford Primary School have helped by planting hundreds of acorns which are growing successfully at a local tree nursery. 
 
The saplings will soon be ready to plant out and the hope is that in 50 years’ time those children, along with their children and grandchildren will be enjoying the wooded cloughs, thriving with birds and other woodland wildlife.
 
 

Vibrant wildlife, including birds of prey

A wide partnership of people and organisations are working together to secure the future of birds of prey in the area. Hen harriers nested successfully last year there were sightings this year of hen harriers but no breeding attempts. However, short eared owl, long eared owl,merlin and peregrine all did nest successfully and reared several young over the summer.
 
We will continue to work with our partners to create an environment where hen harriers and other birds of prey can thrive in the future.
 
We are doing this because we want the moors to be a landscape full of different sorts of wildlife and are trying to protect and encourage them all.
 
 

Secure and healthy peat bogs 

The Kinder Catchment project was completed this year after funding by United Utilities and Natural England. Over the last 5 years large scale restoration works have been carried out. Along with the control of grazing livestock on the plateau, this has resulted in a healthier upland bog, providing a richer habitat for moorland wildlife. With Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements and an English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) contract in place we are continuing large scale restoration works on the moors across the Dark Peak area to reduce and prevent erosion, increase biodiversity and improve water quality. 
 
We’ve set up a team of monitoring volunteers to track the changes that take place and report back on the condition of fences, walls and footpaths to ensure that we’re managing the land well and fulfilling our funding agreements.
 
It’s a long term vision but the effects are already noticeable. The water level has risen and extensive areas of what was once bare, exposed peat are now covered in healthy vegetation. This will provide more much needed habitat to a wide range of invertebrates and birds. 
 
Also, for the wider public benefit, by getting the peat bogs secure and healthy the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the run off of peat soil into the reservoirs below will be reduced.
 
 

Explore the moors and stay in touch

Try one of the walking routes created by our team of rangers to enjoy the High Peaks Moors and see the conservation in action. 
High Peak Moors Vision (PDF / 1.2MB) download
Follow the work we do and the wildlife we spot on Facebook and Twitter and share your experiences with us too.