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Our work at Kinder, Edale and the High Peak

A close-up of a ranger with their torso and legs visible, wearing a red fleece and standing next to a National Trust branded vehicle
A ranger working at Mam Tor | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

With dramatic rocky tors, spectacular valleys and cloughs, and miles of wild and remote peat bogs, Kinder, Edale and the High Peak are a well-loved landscapes. But, it takes years of work to protect and preserve this special place for generations to come. Find out more about our restoration work on Kinder Scout, how we’re protecting wildlife, and discover what you can do to help next time you visit the Peak District.

Restoration work on Kinder Scout National Nature Reserve

Sitting between Manchester and Sheffield, Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District and a popular hiking spot for local people and visitors from afar.

The 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 peat bog erosion. However, thanks to restoration work with partners, including the Moors for the Future Partnership, and funding from organisations such as United Utilities and Natural England, the National Nature Reserve is being transformed.

Kinder Scout is a National Nature Reserve thanks to the important role it plays in capturing carbon, reducing flood risk, improving the quality of drinking water and creating an important habitat for a range of wildlife.

The importance of peat bogs

Healthy peat bogs are wet and covered by plants which rot down to form new peat. They are important because they can trap millions of tonnes of carbon, help to slow water flow and prevent flooding. In addition, they are a harvesting ground for public water supplies.

Peatland bogs are also important habitats for special and protected species of plants and animals. Mountain hare, insects, golden plover and the common lizard, are just a few examples.

Installing dams to slow the water flow

As part of the restoration work, we’ve installed over 6,000 dams on the plateau of Kinder to slow the flow of water into the rivers below. Built by our rangers and volunteers, the dams have enabled the water table on the moor to rise, enabling the moorland to absorb more water to prevent flooding.

Putting vegetation back

As well as creating new dams, we’ve restored almost 200 hectares of bare eroding peat bog, which is now covered in healthy vegetation. This prevents the peat from drying out and locks in more carbon – helping us to achieve a healthier environment.

A place for science and research

The Kinder plateau is 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. With the University of Manchester, the partners are studying the effects of this restoration work and the benefits it offers to help tackle the effects of climate change and to increase levels of biodiversity.

The area provides an outdoor laboratory to enable comparisons to take place between the impact of restored peatland against an unrestored control plot. This is proving invaluable to increase our understanding of natural flood management.

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.

A view across Kinder Reservoir looking towards Kinder Scout on a sunny day, with a hill on the left side of the image and a stone wall surrounding the reservoir
A view across Kinder Reservoir towards Kinder Scout | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Our work in the High Peak

In 2013, we launched the High Peak vision – a 50-year plan to restore, protect and improve the landscape in the moors, for the benefit of people, nature and climate.

As part of the project, we’re creating and developing woodland habitats through extensive tree planting and working to create healthier, more diverse blanket bog as part of our moorland restoration work. These projects are helping to lock in carbon, reduce flooding and provide better quality habitats for wildlife to thrive.

Our work is also helping to create ideal conditions for a variety of wildlife to thrive, including birds of prey.

Almost a decade after we set out our vision, we have achieved a lot but there is more work to do. You can read more about the work we’re doing in the High Peak and our plans for the future here.

A view down the side of a hill where hundred of new trees have been planted with tree guards, with a ranger visible in the shot and fully grown trees in the distance
Tree planting in the Peak District | © National Trust Images

How you can help the Peak District

We encourage everyone to follow these guidelines when visiting Kinder, Edale and the High Peak, to help us care for this special landscape:

  • Barbecues, campfires and outdoor cooking equipment are not permitted anywhere in the Peak District National Park.
  • Wild camping is only permitted with landowner permission – we encourage all campers to plan ahead and book a campsite before visiting. Upper Booth campsite is perfectly situated as a base to explore Kinder and Edale.
  • Please keep dogs on leads in the National Nature Reserve so as not to disturb wildlife.
  • Leave the landscape as you found it and take all litter and dog waste home with you.
  • Please stick to the paths to avoid disturbing delicate wildflowers, vegetation, insects and amphibians.
A volunteer conservation ranger uses a saw to clear spruce woodland to encourage native tree growth at Newark Park, Gloucestershire


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