Monsal Trail : Essential lighting works is taking place from Mon 13 May for five weeks. Tunnels will remain open but light levels may be lower than usual. Please obey signs and take care when passing the works.
How we work to look after the national park, conservation, ranger services, biodiversity and policies.
It is any change in global temperatures and the amount of rain or snow that falls over the years. This is due to natural cycles and the result of our actions e.g. burning coal, oil and gas, and the release of green house gases.
Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get! Climate is the ‘average’ of weather, typically over 30 years.
Climate change is caused because of an increase in the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. The more greenhouse gases there are, the hotter the planet gets – this is making the earth’s climate change at a faster rate than we have seen before. The fast pace of change is causing the concern.
There are a whole range of greenhouse gases but the most common ones are carbon dioxide; water vapour; methane; and nitrous oxides. Some are released into the atmosphere by natural events, like volcanic eruptions, but most occur because we burn fossil fuels when we travel, heat our buildings, generate electricity and make things.
It is happening now and is set to continue. In fact, the climate has always changed, but it is the faster rate of change that is the problem. Over the last 100 years the Earth’s average temperature has increased by nearly 1°C. The last decade (2000-2009) was the warmest since records began.
Most scientists expect there to be a trend, over the coming decades, to warmer wetter winters, hotter drier summers and more extreme weather events, like very intense rainfall. We will still have wet summers and cold winters but they will become less common.
Hotter, drier summers may mean:
• less water in streams and rivers, especially in the White Peak
• more fires, especially on moorland
• changes in habitats and wildlife
• an increase in visitors who want a break away from the hotter cities
• more crops being grown
• changes in farming which affect landscape features e.g. hedgerows and drystone walls
Warmer, wetter winters may mean:
• damage from flash floods to buildings, roads and land
• changes in habitats and wildlife
• problems of damp in old and historic buildings
• more plant and animal diseases due to fewer sharp frosts that kill off disease
• demand for more farm buildings to shelter animals and store their food
There is more information in the report ‘Adapting to Climate Change in the Peak District National Park’ (736KB) .
We are already working to reduce the greenhouse gases we are responsible for. We have a Carbon Management Plan to reduce our carbon footprint by 30% by 2015 (based on a 2010/11 baseline).
• increasing the amount of insulation in our buildings so that we use less energy to heat them in winter and they stay cooler in summer
• installing energy efficient lights – using low energy LED lighting where possible
• using more fuel efficient vehicles and trying to reduce the distances we travel to carry out our work
• training our staff to drive in more fuel efficient ways
• using video conferencing facilities at our Head Office to reduce the need to travel to meetings
• improving the heating control on our buildings
• installing renewable energy where appropriate – we have heat pumps at our Parsley Hay Cycle Hire Centre, and the Moorland Centre at Edale; there are plans to install a biomass boiler and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at our Head Office in Bakewell.
We are encouraging landowners to look after habitats. The environment needs to be as healthy and diverse as possible to give plants and wildlife the best chance to adapt to future changes in the climate. A project to restore dewponds is helping create ‘wildlife corridors’ so that birds and animals will have places to move between if they need to adapt to changes in the Peak District.
On a larger ‘landscape’ scale, the Moors for the Future Partnership www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk is restoring moorland so this important habitat can better cope with a changing climate. A stable and healthy moorland means less of the moor is eroded. When peat dissolves in water it releases carbon from the soil into the atmosphere and adds to the problem of there being more greenhouse gases. By stabilising moorland it is able to store water – which will become increasingly important as we get more drier summers.
There is also the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/sdf which supports projects that bring environmental, social, economic and cultural benefits to the National Park. We are particularly interested in projects that help to reduce the extent of climate change, its impacts and its effects on the Peak District. Individuals, groups or partnerships from the public, private or voluntary sector can apply for grants of several hundred or several thousand pounds.
ENPAA (English National Parks Authorities Association) has released a statement outlining the wide range of climate change related work that is already happening in National Parks and sets out the English National Park Authorities’ vision for future action - see www.enpaa.org.uk/climate_change_statement
Reduce your carbon footprint! Follow the ‘energy hierarchy’ – Avoid, Reduce, Use Renewables: try to not use energy, or use it as little as possible, and generate it from renewable sources, such as wind, solar, hydro or biomass.
At home you can
• Insulate, insulate, insulate! Insulate your loft, boiler, ground floor and external walls
• Keep out the drafts. Draught proof windows and doors
• Install double-glazed windows (some historic buildings may require special permission)
• Install an efficient boiler
• Purchase energy (and water) efficient electrical goods (go for A++ where possible)
• Make sure your heating is timed to come on only when needed
• Use thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to only heat the rooms you are in
• Turn the temperature down a little on the thermostat
• Use energy efficient lights
• Switch lights off that are not being used
• Don’t leave your TV or computer on stand by
• Take a shower instead of a bath to save water and energy
• Use a bicycle, walk, take public transport or car share where possible
• Buy fuel efficient vehicles and drive smoothly to save fuel
• Only run your washing machine when you have a full load
• Use lower temperature washes whenever possible
• When using the kettle, only boil the water you need
• Install solar panels; a heat pump; biomass boiler; wind turbine
• Source your electricity from a ‘green’ or renewable tariff
• Collect rainwater or ‘grey’ water from showers to flush toilets or water the garden
• Choose garden plants that don’t need much water
• Use natural shading, such as trees, shutters or blinds, to help keep buildings cooler
• Reduce, reuse and recycle your rubbish
If you’re visiting, you can
• Arrive by bus or train and take advantage of money saving Derbyshire Wayfarer tickets
• During you visit walk, cycle, use public transport or car share where possible
• Use businesses that display the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark to show they support the best environmental practices and help conserve the national park.
• Use restaurants and accommodation that serve locally produced food. Look out for the Peak District cuisine logo
At work you could also
• Reduce packaging, buy in bulk and/or buy environmentally-friendly goods
• Use recycled products to reduce your impact on the environment
• Encourage your staff and customers to come by bus or train or car-share
• Tell your customers what you do to help the environment
• Buy and sell locally. Supporting local businesses helps reduce ‘product miles’
If you run a business you could try to meet the criteria for the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark and sign up to the scheme. For more information visit www.eqm.org.uk or contact: Faith Johnson on 01629 816321.
Global warming The increase in average global temperatures due to the greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse gases Gases in the atmosphere, which absorb heat reflected from the Earth’s surface. The key greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide (CO2); water vapour; methane; and nitrous oxides.
Greenhouse effect The process by which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat from the sun and keep the Earth warm. The greenhouse effect is necessary for life on Earth, but too many of these gases in the atmosphere could make our planet's temperatures rise too high.
Climate Change Act 2008 This makes the UK the first country in the world to have legally binding targets to cut carbon emissions and outlines how the country can adapt to climate change. The targets are to reduce emissions by 34 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.
Mitigation ‘To make or become milder, less severe, minimising impacts’. Mitigation actions reduce the rate of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Adaptation Actions which allow us to better cope with the effects of climate change.
Carbon footprint The total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organisation, event, product or person.
Fossil fuels Fuels containing carbon – coal, oil and gas – that were formed over millions of years through the decay, burial and compaction of rotting vegetation on land, and of marine organisms on the sea floor. Burning fossil fuels is the biggest cause of us adding to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and reserves are being used up much faster than new ones are being made
Renewable energy is natural energy. Solar power comes from the sun. Heat pumps take heat from the air, ground or water to warm buildings. Wind turbines make power from the wind. Water wheels and turbines turn the force of water into energy. Trees and other plants can be burnt in biomass boilers or stoves to produce energy.
Peak District National Park climate change action plan 2009-11 (268KB)
Peak District National Park Authority environmental management policy
Peak District National Park Authority planning advice about renewable energy