Kinder National Nature Reserve

Kinder is National Nature Reserve and we can all play our part in looking after it

Be kinder to Kinder. We know that so many people enjoy exploring Kinder but might not realise that it is a National Nature Reserve that needs everyone's help to look after it. Please read on before you visit, to discover some vitally important ways you can help to look after this special place for nature and for people.

Restoration work on Kinder

Sitting between the cities of Manchester and Sheffield is the giant that is Kinder Scout, known and loved by generations of locals and visitors alike. But a combination of high visitor numbers, historical land management and climate change has taken its toll on Kinder, causing severe damage to the moorland such as peatbog erosion. These peatland bogs are important habitats for species such as mountain hare, golden plover and the common lizard. This damage hasn’t just meant bad news for wildlife; it has wider implications including the increased threat of flooding to towns and villages downstream. However, with £2.7 million in funding from United Utilities and Natural England, the National Trust has been working to restore this area of badly damaged moorland and turn the fortunes of its wildlife and surrounding communities.


In the last five years over 6,000 dams have been installed on the plateau of Kinder to slow the water flow, which would normally race down the grips and gullies into the rivers below. Built by National Trust rangers and volunteers, the dams have also enabled the water table on the moor to rise, which means the water can now trickle slowly off the land over a greater period of time and the amount of water the moor can absorb in heavy rain has increased.

We’re blocking up the gullies to try to keep the peat in place
Wardens working on the drainage of the blanket peat on the High Peak Estate, in the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
We’re blocking up the gullies to try to keep the peat in place

As well as the thousands of dams, the Trust has also restored almost 200 hectares of bare eroding peat bog, helping to lock in carbon – preventing it escaping into the atmosphere. The once exposed ‘moonscape’ of peat is now covered in healthy vegetation –not only providing a better home for different species but also preventing peat running off into water sources ultimately used for drinking water.

Monitoring areas where sphagnum is doing well on the moors
Monitoring areas where sphagnum is doing well on the moors
Monitoring areas where sphagnum is doing well on the moors

Clough Woodland Restoration 

Two thousand native trees have also been planted and woodland areas created to encourage natural regeneration of up to 5,000 trees lower downstream. This work is just a small part of a much bigger plan to restore, protect and improve the High Peak Moors. In 2013 the Trust launched the High Peak Moors Vision - a 50-year plan to improve the landscape and diversity of the moors, access and wider public benefits such as improved water quality. The work on Kinder demonstrates the multiple benefits that nature conservation can bring, not just for wildlife but also in helping to provide clean water, reduce the risk of flooding and increase the natural value of an amazing place.

Our rangers are planting thousands of trees as part of our Clough Woodland Restoration project
Our rangers are planting thousands of trees as part of our Clough Woodland Restoration project
Our rangers are planting thousands of trees as part of our Clough Woodland Restoration project

How you can be kinder to Kinder

Kinder Scout is a National Nature Reserve that has an important role to play in capturing carbon, natural flood risk management, as well as storing and cleaning drinking water and remaining an important refuge for wildlife and biodiversity. 

Kinder has been used by the National Trust, the Peak District National Park Authority and the Moors for the Future Partnership as a demonstration site for moorland restoration techniques for many years. Many of today’s widely used techniques for gully blocking and bare peat restoration were developed on Kinder Scout and surrounding National Trust owned Moorland. 

National Nature Reserves are open to the public, and we welcome our visitors to enjoy them freely whilst looking after this special place that you love to escape to.

Be kinder to Kinder and follow our guidance for a visit that is enjoyable but respectful of the landscape at the same time: 

  • BBQs/campfires/outdoor cooking equipment (stoves/free standing BBQs) are not allowed anywhere in the Peak District National Park as they are a severe health and safety risk to the landscape and to people. If you see a fire get to a safe place and dial 999 and give location details. 
  • ‘Wild camping' (anywhere outside of designated camp sites) is only allowed with landowner permission, and the majority of landowners in the Peak District do not allow this. There's also no wild camping allowed on National Park Authority land or National Trust land. To avoid disappointment, we encourage anyone wanting to camp, to plan ahead and book in at a campsite. To book in at a campsite you can visit the Pitchup website which lists all the different campsites across the UK. 
  • Dogs on leads at all times is required when exploring any National Nature Reserve. This helps to protect the wildlife that lives there from disturbance and also is safest for you, your dog and other people exploring the area. 
  • Take all the litter that you brought with you home. Issues of access, emptying and servicing make the provision of bins extremely costly and our charitable resources, as well as staff and volunteer time is very limited. We have some incredible staff and volunteers who are picking up litter each day across our different Peak District sites. You can help look after the places you love to visit, by taking all your litter home when bins aren't available. This includes dog mess, tissues, wipes, nappies, shoes, picnic blankets etc. Fly-tipping is against the law and you can face heafty fines for doing so. 
  • It is safest for you and for nature that you stick to footpaths as you could easily disturb the home of animals that live in these areas, as well as delicate wildflowers, vegetation, insects and amphibians. 

Thank you for being #peakdistrictproud and helping to look after the places we all love.