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RSPB and National Trust to lease Eastern Moors estate

This is an archived press release

Friday 5 June 2009

5 June 2009

RSPB and National Trust to lease Eastern Moors estate

The RSPB and National Trust are to be given a 15-year lease by the Peak District National Park Authority to manage the Eastern Moors estate, near Sheffield.

The 6,200 acre (2,509 hectare) estate is the authority’s largest land-holding and includes the popular walking and climbing areas of Curbar, Froggatt and Birchen Edges, as well as Big Moor, Ramsley Moor, Totley Moor, Clod Hall Moor and Leash Fen.

The land includes farmland, heather moors, woods, wetland, a campsite and three car parks. Its archaeological remains date from the Bronze Age and it provides significant habitats for birds, water voles, adders and red deer.

The RSPB and National Trust will work in partnership with a wide range of groups and organisations including the British Mountaineering Council and the Friends of the Peak District (Campaign to Protect Rural England). It comes after their business case was accepted by the authority as the best way of securing the future of the land ahead of a separate bid by the Sheffield and Derbyshire Wildlife Trusts.

A review of the authority’s properties had recommended the site was leased to a like-minded organisation to increase investment in the estate.

Councillor Andrew Marchington, chair of the authority’s services committee, said: “We received two very strong bids to lease the Eastern Moors estate.

“On balance it was felt the RSPB and National Trust bid was the stronger of the two.

“The importance of effective engagement with local communities came through in the debate. We hope the successful bidders will work with a wide range of bodies, including the Sheffield and Derbyshire Wildlife Trusts to achieve this and deliver an even better future for the estate.”

The National Trust and RSPB plan to:

  • Engage with the public and organisations in the area to create a 20-year master plan for the future management of the estate and wider area
  • To improve access to the land
  • To carry out climate change adaptation and monitoring work

Councillor Marchington added: “We look forward to working with the new partnership and are keen to encourage greater interpretation of this area and develop links with people from neighbouring urban areas such as Sheffield and Chesterfield.”

The Peak District National Park Authority bought the estate from Severn Trent Water in 1984, with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, to increase public access and safeguard its archaeological and ecological sites.

The authority has improved the wildlife habitats so that 100 per cent are in a favourable or recovering position – compared with 42.5 per cent in 2000.

The RSPB and National Trust partnership are expected to begin their 15-year lease period on 1 April 2010 once legal agreements have been signed. These will ensure public access to the estate and require the partners to continue the restoration and conservation of habitats.

The decision is subject to the approval of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

This is an archived press release

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