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The Peak District's Special Qualities

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The Peak District National Park is the UK’s original national park. It is a treasured landscape of exceptional natural beauty shaped by the interaction of people and nature over thousands of years. Lying at the heart of the country, surrounded by urban areas, it is easily accessed by the 16 million people living within an hour’s drive. 

The Peak District National Park is distinct from the surrounding lowlands and its three main landscapes, the Dark Peak, White Peak and South West Peak, each have their own character and sense of place. Over a third of the area is protected for nature conservation and the mosaic of landscapes support an abundance of plants and animals. People have lived here for over 10,000 years shaping the landscape and leaving a wealth of cultural history. It remains a lived-in landscape where industrial features make up one of the many layers of the landscape. 

For hundreds of years, this diversity of landscapes and rich cultural heritage has created recreation opportunities from adrenaline sports to leisurely rambles. Here, millions of people can get active, escape the pressures of everyday life, explore creative activities and learn about landscapes, cultural heritage and wildlife. The landscape also provides wider-reaching benefits like fresh water, flood prevention, food and carbon storage.

Our special qualities as outlined in the National Park Management Plan are...

  1. Beautiful views created by contrasting landscapes and dramatic geology
  2. Internationally important and locally distinctive wildlife and habitats
  3. Undeveloped places of tranquillity and dark night skies within reach of millions
  4. Landscapes that tell a story of thousands of years of people, farming and industry
  5. Characteristic settlements with strong communities and traditions
  6. An inspiring space for escape, adventure, discovery and quiet reflection
  7. Vital benefits for millions of people that flow beyond the landscape boundary

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