Working in the Peak District
The Peak District is not just about scenic landscapes, history and heritage, it is also a lived in and working national park.
Business, farming and industry are an integral part of the national park landscape and have been so for centuries. They all have a key role to play in maintaining the special qualities of the national park.
Nearly 20,000 people are employed in the Peak District National Park. From small-holdings to large-scale commercial farms, greengrocers to breweries, and from cottage industries to cement works, a diversity of business supports both the Peak District and the national economy. There are also small scale trades based in the Peak District, many of which are traditional specialists, for example dry stone wallers, agricultural machinery repairers, and builders skilled in historic building restoration. All make up a diverse variety of business and employment. (ES2 Economic Diversity)
Farming is one of the main industries and employers in the Peak District. Around 84% of the total area of the national park is farmed land, and there are about 2,500 agricultural holdings. Farmers and land managers are essential for looking after the special qualities of the national park for the present and for the future. (ES1 Faming and Land Management)
The Live and Work Rural programme has supported many small Peak District businesses, and it is hoped that this work will continue through the Rural Business Advisor programme over the period covered by this Management Plan. Many businesses that actively support good environmental practices in the national park have also been supported by the Environmental Quality Mark scheme.
With more people choosing to holiday at home, and the increased costs of travel, tourism is becoming even more important to the Peak District economy. Tourism provides economic support and employment through holiday accommodation, attractions, shops, cafes and small-scale industry. Income generated from tourism by land-owners such as the National Trust and RSPB is reinvested in work to conserve and enhance the landscapes of the national park. (WI1 Sustainable Tourism)
Many people are employed by environmental service industries. For example, the Peak District is home to a number of reservoirs, supplying the settlements of the Peak District and surrounding cities with clean drinking water. Work is ongoing to restore our nationally important peat moorlands, and a number of renewable energy schemes are either planned or have been implemented in the national park. (DL4 Climate Change)
There are a number of thriving hi-tech industrial companies based in and around the national park, many of which specialise in green technologies. (Green Economy) The Peak District is also rich in minerals. It is the job of the Peak District National Park Authority to balance extraction and the economic return and employment these workings give, with the purposes of conserving and enhancing the national park's landscapes. There are nearly 70 quarries of varying size, as well as the Hope Valley cement works.