Skip to content

Protecting the High Peak

A view from the Pennine Way into a green valley on the High Peak Estate, with rocky terrain in the foreground and running water visible in the valley.
A view from the Pennine Way across the High Peak | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Ten years ago, we set out a 50-year vision explaining how we were going to protect and make the most of the land we look after in the High Peak for people, nature and climate. Since then, we have achieved a lot, but there is more work to do. Find out about our work so far and our plans for the future.

Managing the land for people, nature and climate

The remote bogs, rock formations, hill farms and villages are part of the soul of the Peak District National Park. These special places quietly supply millions of people in the towns and cities around us with life’s necessities, like drinking water. The moors and wooded cloughs help to protect us from flooding. In good condition, the peatlands here can store and absorb vast quantities of carbon.

These habitats are also home to precious wildlife, and they are loved by local communities and millions of visitors each year.

We work hard to maintain access routes that are well thought out for visitors and nature.

We manage the land we look after for everyone, for ever.

Our work so far


Planting trees across the High Peak

Trees and shrubs would once have been widespread in the sheltered valleys and cloughs that lead onto the High Peak moors, but changes in land use mean there are few ‘clough woodlands’ left in the area. We're working to create areas where more native trees and shrubs spread up into the valleys and cloughs. This will help keep the valley sides stable and provide shelter and food for wildlife.  

Since the project began in 2013, we’ve planted more than 250,000 trees in the High Peak, made up of native species, including sessile oak, silver birch, rowan, hawthorn and hazel.

These new woodlands will provide shelter and habitat for insects, birds and mammals, and will create more ‘nature corridors’, connecting habitats to encourage wildlife and increasing biodiversity in the area. 

‘The trees will become home to a huge array of wildlife. The new woodland will store carbon and stabilise the soil, helping to reduce the risk of flooding lower down the valley.’ 

– Kait Jones, Area Ranger for the High Peak Estate

Working together

This work was supported by funding from the Forestry Commission and Natural England, but was also made possible by volunteers and members of the public, who joined ‘Muck In’ days to plant trees. We also worked with local school children on a project called ‘Treegeneration’, to plant hundreds of acorns and create future veteran trees.

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
Two children sitting on the big stones at Back Tor, Edale, Derbyshire overlooking the stunning view.
Children look at the view from the big stones on Back Tor, Edale, Derbyshire | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Our plan for the land we care for in the High Peak

We will be working across the whole landscape, from moor-top to valley bottom. We started out with a focus on the moors. But people, nature, climate and the historic environment matter everywhere, so our focus will extend from the highest peak right down to farmland on the hillside and in the valleys.

Our work is helping to lock in carbon, reduce flooding, and improve biodiversity. We are achieving this through creating and developing woodland, as well as restoring peat and moorland.

However, this work is only a fraction of what is needed. So, together with our partners, we will continue to do more.

We want to work with tenants and graziers to do more to put nature at the heart of what they do whilst running profitable and resilient businesses, producing great food. We are already learning from farmers already making changes.

Our aim is to work together to care for our land to protect soil and water, make bigger and better spaces for nature, whilst providing public access, and celebrating the shared history of the countryside.

Be part of the plan

You can be part of the plan to care for the High Peak. Whether that is by looking after the landscape and following the countryside code when you visit, working alongside us as a volunteer or helping us to deliver projects as a local business or partner organisation. You can help make our plans a reality.

Contact us to get involved and find out more.

Volunteer with us

Two volunteers in the garden at Allan Bank and Grasmere, Cumbria


Each year thousands of volunteers join us in caring for all the special places you love.

You might also be interested in

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

Our work at Kinder, Edale and the High Peak 

Discover more about the work we’re doing to restore, protect and improve to landscape at Kinder, Edale and the High Peak, and find out how you can help us look after the land.

A close up of a hand in a work glove holding a sphagnum moss plug

195,000 ‘super’ sphagnum moss plugs planted to protect peatlands in the Peak District 

Over the last six months, National Trust staff, volunteers, and Moors for the Future Partnership have planted over 195,000 sphagnum moss plugs across almost 170 hectares of moorland in the Peak District, helping to restore vital peatland to benefit wildlife, local communities, and the environment.

View from the top of Kinder Downfall in the Peak District, Derbyshire

The history of Kinder, Edale and the High Peak 

Discover how the Peak District became the UK’s first National Park and uncover the turbulent history of this vast and peaceful landscape.

Sunny view with blue sky, from a rocky peak out over open moor and fields, with water in the distance

Things to see and do at Kinder, Edale and the High Peak 

Discover breath-taking views of the Peak District, natural landscape features and the best spots for wildlife watching at Kinder, Edale and the High Peak.