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Views sought on new partnership plan for Peak District estate

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 5 May 2009

5 May 2009

Views sought on new partnership plan for Peak District estate

The Peak District National Park Authority is seeking people’s views on whether to lease the management of its largest land-holding to a partnership.

The Authority’s officers are recommending that a partnership of conservation organisations would be the best option to provide a flourishing future for the Eastern Moors estate, bordering Sheffield.

The 2,509 hectare (6,200 acre) estate 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.

It embraces farmland, heather moors, woods, heath, wetland, reservoirs, 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.

Two potential partnerships have submitted business cases:

  • the RSPB and National Trust
  • the Derbyshire and Sheffield Wildlife Trusts.

Both their cases will be considered by the Authority’s Services Committee on June 5.

The 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 its wildlife habitats to the point that 99 per cent of its Sites of Special Scientific Interest are now in favourable or recovering condition - up from 42.5 per cent in 2000.

Now the Authority is reviewing its whole property portfolio to cut running costs and focus on its main priorities.

Head of Property Matthew Croney said: “We are recommending that a lease to a partnership of well-established, experienced and like-minded conservation organisations would be the best option for the future of the estate.

“It would allow increased investment, continued restoration and conservation of habitats, improved recreation and information, new links with neighbouring landowners and more encouragement to people from urban areas.

“However, the final decision will be taken by the committee and we would welcome people’s views.”

Background documents are on www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/easternmoorsproposal

Views e-mailed by Friday May 15 to matthew.croney@peakdistrict.gov.uk  will be included in the committee report. Those sent afterwards will be presented verbally to the committee.

Alternatively, people can see the documents at Peak District National Park HQ, Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, DE45 1AE (tel: 01629 816200) and send views to Matthew Croney at that address.

This is an archived press release

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