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Our work at Dalehead

Fields in the foreground with woodland in the middle of the pictures and with hills to the left and in the distance under a blue sky
Views of Dalehead in the Peak District | © Kev Dunnington

Find out how our work at Dalehead, near Edale in the Peak District, will benefit wildlife, increase resilience in a changing climate and demonstrate different ways of caring for the landscape.

Dalehead, is surrounded by beautiful Peak District views down the Vale of Edale and over to the iconic Mam Tor in one direction and Kinder Scout in the other. We’ve started work on this 123 hectare site to improve the condition of moorland, woodland, and grassland there.

What is happening at Dalehead and why?

We’re using different land management techniques to improve grasslands, create wetlands and introduce more native trees and shrubs through planting and natural regeneration.

This will help to improve places for wildlife to live and feed, increase biodiversity and help to capture carbon. It will also make the landscape more resilient to flooding and drought in a changing climate. The changes we make will improve soil health and support a healthy diet for grazing animals as well.

Grazing animals will play a part in our work. They wouldn’t know it, but as they eat and move around, they’re helping to break up the ground and add natural fertiliser, creating the right conditions for trees, flowers and grasses to grow.

What we do at Dalehead will help us understand more about different ways to manage the land in the Peak District for nature, climate and people. We’ll share what we learn with others who want to do the same.

An image showing fields with different heights of grass with cows grazing in the distance, trees and woodland and people walking with a view out over a valley surrounded by hils.
A visualisation of what Dalehead could look like in 25 years. | © National Trust / Visualisation by FDA Design Ltd

A place for wildlife

Our conservation work will create a mosaic of different habitats from woodland to grassland where wildflowers, fungi, scattered scrub like holly and gorse, and native trees will grow.

This will create more homes for birds like barn owls and tawny owls, cuckoo, woodcock, redstart and tree pipit. Small mammals, such as voles and hedgehogs and insects like bees, butterflies and moths, will also benefit from the changes.

When wetland areas are established, they will help to attract birds like willow warblers, along with a variety of aquatic insects like dragonflies.

A place for people to walk and stay

Alongside our conservation work, we’ll also be increasing the number of routes people can walk in the area and reopening a nature trail.

There is already a bunkhouse at Dalehead where people can stay to enjoy all that this part of the Peak District National Park offers.

Thank you to our funders and supporters

The work at Dalehead has been funded by HSBC UK, Severn Trent Water, The National Trust’s Plant a Tree campaign, the Peak District National Park’s Grow Back Greener programme, and supported by The Woodland Trust.

Follow our progress at Dalehead:

Summer 2023

Preparing the site

Before our conservation work started we carried out surveys and changed some of the fence boundaries within the site.

We also installed water infrastructure to facilitate cattle grazing.

A tree in a field with different plants in the grass  surrounding it and woodland behind it
Scattered trees, woodland and grassland at Dalehead in the Peak District | © Kev Dunnington

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