This is an archived press release
Tuesday 22 February 2005
22 February 2005
Welcome back, Monsal Viaduct - good to see you again!
Visitors to one of the Peak District's premier viewpoints can now see what they came for - Monsal Viaduct.
Felling of about an acre of woodland below Monsal Head has restored the classic panorama to the way it used to be some 10 to 15 years ago.
The ash woodland had begun to spread along the daleside, its branches obscuring the view of the Victorian viaduct, a listed building set in the beautiful limestone valley of the River Wye.
The Peak District National Park Authority has taken out a 25-year lease on the site to safeguard the view for the future. Felling started in January and was complete well in time for the bird-nesting season. The result will be a shrub and coppice habitat where birds and wildlife can still thrive - especially important as the Wye Valley is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
National Park forestry and tree manager Steve Tompkins said: "The view has been opened up again - and a much greater number of people have been sitting on the benches to admire it.
"We also managed to clear a great deal of litter from the woodland floor while we were there - everything from beer cans to traffic cones. It does look a bit stark at the moment, but as the spring and summer progress, vegetation will grow back, and coppice growth from the stumps will soften the site."
The landowner is the Chatsworth estate - which shared the cost of this initial felling - and the lease will mean that the woodland can be managed by the National Park Authority on a longer-term basis.
Monsal Viaduct became part of the Monsal Trail, popular for walking and cycling, after the railway line was closed in 1968. The view is one of the key images of the Peak District, used in guidebooks and travel articles around the world.