News release06 August 2012
Successes for people and wildlife in Peak District National Park
People living and working in the Peak District National Park have helped achieve notable improvements for wildlife, residents and visitors over the past five years.
A review of the Peak District National Park management plan for 2006-2011 has revealed:
- Farmers and landowners, working with the Peak District Biodiversity Partnership, have vastly improved wildlife habitats – 97 per cent of Sites of Special Scientific Interest are now in favourable or improving condition compared with 50 per cent in 2006.
- Landowners have co-operated on extensive moorland restoration through the Moors for the Future Partnership, including re-wetting, revegetation, tree-planting and path repairs, bringing improvements for wildlife, walkers, water quality and carbon storage.
- Volunteer rangers contributed 5,020 days a year to looking after the national park and its visitors, and 3,000 volunteers contributed to conservation work, such as footpath repairs, scrub clearance, dry stone walling and fencing.
- Business Peak District was formed by local businesspeople with the National Park Authority and local councils to promote business training and expansion.
- Local tourism businesses and joint campaigns such as the Peak District Walking Festival have attracted millions of visitors, with 440,000 people a year going into national park visitor centres.
- Some 13,000 people a year have learned to understand and appreciate their environment through the National Park Authority’s learning team who work with young people, adults and people with disabilities.
- A Live & Work Rural programme, set up by the National Park Authority with regional funding, helped create or safeguard 135 jobs, assisted 195 people to get jobs, helped 335 people with training and advised 158 businesses on resource efficiency.
- Peak District farming and land management has been supported to look after the national park’s landscape and habitats by a joint Peak District Land Managers Advisory Service that has helped bring in more than £8million.
- Friends of the Peak District and the National Park Authority have worked with electricity distribution companies to move more than 5km of overhead electricity cables underground to improve the landscape in sensitive areas.
- Hundreds of people have learned to appreciate the stars through Dark Skies events organised by the National Park Authority and local astronomical societies.
- Thousands have been encouraged to take up cycling for leisure, health and commuting through the Pedal Peak District project linked to the re-opening of old railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail in 2011.
Now the work goes on through a new National Park Management Plan for 2012-2017, launched in May. Developed with the help of local farmers, businesspeople, environmentalists and community leaders, the emphasis is on:
- Supporting viable and sustainable farming and businesses
- Working with communities who are inspired to shape the place they live in
- Protecting the landscape’s natural beauty
- Widening people’s healthy enjoyment and understanding of the environment
- Enhancing biodiversity and local heritage
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
National Park Authority deputy chair Geoff Nickolds said: “People can be justifiably proud of what they do to look after the national park in all sorts of ways, from encouraging birds and butterflies in their gardens to continuing traditional skills, volunteering in their communities, running distinctive Peak District businesses and helping look after heritage features.
“The vast majority of people who live and work in the national park do their utmost to look after it, and it’s our job to encourage and support them.”
Full details of the National Park Management Plan 2012-2017 may be found at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/npmp