Vibrant wildlife including birds of prey
We want to see a landscape that is full of life, and in particular full of the sorts of wildlife that mark the moors out as different from other places. This means that in the future we’ll need to see more of some types of wildlife, like birds of prey. We’ll also need to give wildlife the chance to shift and adapt, because we know that there will be changes in the climate over the next 50 years, and these will affect where and how plants and animals can survive. This is important, because like the rocky tors and the peat, the wildlife is part of the moors. We believe we should protect it for ever.
The moorlands in the High Peak provide important nesting habitat for a wide range of bird species from the iconic raptors such as Hen Harrier, Merlin and Short Eared Owl through the wading birds such as Curlew and Golden Plover which provide the moor in summer with some of its most iconic sounds to the rare and hard to spot passerines such as Ring Ouzel and Whinchat.
To monitor these bird species we carry out breeding bird surveys as well as specific raptor monitoring. Breeding bird surveys involve volunteers visiting two 1km grid squares twice over the breeding season recording all bird species heard and seen. Surveying raptors requires separate surveying from designated watch points as these charismatic birds are rarer and often hard to see, meaning more time needs to be invested to collect enough data for us to monitor the species.
Both these surveys are highly important as they allow us to build up a picture of bird populations across the estate, this allows us to better focus our management of the moors as well as gain further evidence as to how restoration work such as gully blocking, increasing the water on the moors, benefits the birds for which the Peak District is important breeding ground.
Birds we survey for include: Dunlin, Golden Plover, Curlew, Ring Ouzel, Hen Harrier, Short Eared Owl and Merlin.