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State of the Park captured in comprehensive report

This is an archived press release

Thursday 2 September 2004

2 September 2004

State of the Park captured in comprehensive report

An on-line report containing a wealth of information and statistics about the Peak District National Park, has been updated and can be viewed at www.peakdistrict.org

The newly updated State of the Park Report contains a host of statistics to help keep people informed about issues ranging from air and water quality to unemployment, the economy, village services, road congestion and cultural heritage.

Especially useful for teachers, students, researchers, local councillors and planners, the database is primarily produced to help the Peak District National Park Authority formulate its management plans, including local development and planning policies.

It is also an important source of coursework material for the National Park's study centre at Losehill Hall.

National Park Authority research officer Sonia Davies said: "Because it covers so many topics in the Park it is an important reference point for students, teachers and researchers. However, many other people will be interested in the information it contains."

Originally the report - first published in 2001 - was due to be updated every five years, but in practice it is now being updated on a rolling programme to keep the information fresh.

Issues covered include:

* unemployment is consistently below the national average
* air quality has improved, river water quality is good, temperatures are increasing, windspeed decreasing
* population is stable at around 38,000
* heather moorland is being restored and black grouse re-introduced
* native woodland is expanding, though grassland is still under threat
* traffic has doubled over the past 20 years
* 72 per cent of Sites of Special Scientific Interest are damaged from overgrazing, moorland fires and air pollution
* dry stone walls and leadmine surface workings are still being lost, though National Park projects are helping stem the decline.

National Park Authority chief executive Jim Dixon said: "The report is important because the data highlights the challenges that we all face and it helps us to focus our efforts on meeting them. For example, we are working with partners to address areas of concern such as traffic, damage to Sites of Special Scientific Interest, conservation and the preservation of our cultural heritage."

To view the full report on-line log on to www.peakdistrict.org and click 'essentials' and then 'publications'. Paper copies of the report are available by writing to Richard Laurie, Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Bakewell, DE45 1AE, telephone 01629 816200.

This is an archived press release

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