This is an archived press release
Monday 13 December 2004
13 December 2004
Restoring one of the Peak District's finest views
One of the classic views of the Peak District - of Monsal Dale and its famous viaduct - is to be restored to its former magnificence.
The Peak District National Park Authority is to fell about an acre of trees which have grown in the past 10-15 years below Monsal Head, obscuring the view from one of the most popular vantage points in the Peak District.
The work, on the edge of the ash woodland, will start in January and last two to three weeks, resulting in a shrub and coppice habitat where birds and wildlife can still thrive - especially important as it is part of the Wye Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest.
National Park Authority forestry and tree manager Steve Tompkins said: "A lot of people have been contacting us over the fact that the views are obscured by trees, especially in summer, so we are taking this action to safeguard one of the most well-known vistas in the Peak District while ensuring a continued habitat for wildlife."
The work needs to be done in January before the bird-nesting season starts towards the end of February.
The National Park Authority is taking out a 25-year lease on the land from the owners, the Chatsworth Estate, in order not just to open up the view but to manage the woodland on a longer-term basis. Chatsworth is sharing half the initial costs of the joint project.
Monsal Viaduct - a listed building set in the beautiful
limestone valley of the River Wye - is one of the key images of the Peak District, used in guide books,
travel articles and brochures around the world. Controversial when it was built in the 1860s as part
of the Midland Railway's London to Manchester network, it has come to be regarded as an enhancement
to the scenery as the stonework and vegetation have mellowed.
Since the line's closure in 1968 the viaduct has become part of the National Park Authority's Monsal Trail, hugely popular with walkers.