The future of the High Peak moors has been laid out as part of a nature conservation initiative.
The National Trust has mapped out a new 50–year vision for 40 square miles of land it looks after in the High Peak moors.
Jon Stewart, National Trust General Manager for the Peak District, said: “This dramatic, beautiful and fragile landscape is the ideal place for the biggest and most ambitious work that the trust has ever undertaken to develop a clear road map for one of its upland estates.”
Conservation work will restore habitats such as bogs and heaths on the moor tops and heathland and woodlands in steep valleys, known as cloughs.
A priority for the vision will be to keep the bogs wet through for example blocking gullies that have eroded the landscape and making sure that there is plenty of vegetation cover. Work has already begun on this on the plateau of Kinder Scout.
Work will also begin to increase the spread of trees and shrubs – both naturally and through planting – in the valleys to help restore lost wildlife habitat and a key part of the landscape, improve water quality and help conserve soils.
By creating the right conditions it will be possible for valued species such as birds of prey, red grouse and mountain hare to call the High Peak moors home in the decades to come.
One longer term measure of the success of the vision would be creating the right conditions for the black grouse to return to the moors.
Jon added: “We have learnt a huge amount about how managing these moors to boost their wildlife and restore the landscape can also have massive benefits for our drinking water quality, flood management, carbon storage and people’s enjoyment.”