Authority to seek new partner for Stanage and North Lees

This is an archived press release

Thursday 16 June 2011

Stanage EdgeStanage Edge, the popular climbing, walking and wildlife area on the borders of Sheffield, could be leased or sold by the Peak District National Park Authority to a like-minded body.

The Authority is currently consulting community groups and users about the possible transfer of Stanage and its surrounding North Lees estate near Hathersage, asking them what they would seek from any new partner.

It will then draw up its requirements for potential bidders to fulfill, covering conservation, public access, recreation, widening understanding of its wildlife and heritage and farming to high environmental standards. It would specifically exclude shooting rights.

Among the main bodies already consulted is the Stanage Forum, which represents local communities, climbers, walkers, birdwatchers and other interest groups. The Forum has advised on the management of the estate since 2000.

Director of operations Richard Campen said: “We want to find organisations or individuals who could continue to look after the special environment of Stanage and the North Lees estate and build on the good work we have already achieved.

“In the light of public spending cuts the Authority is in the process of transferring several of its assets to other like-minded bodies who have a commitment to conservation, recreation and widening understanding, but have more resources to invest than we do.

“Stanage Edge is held in high regard for its spectacular views, world-class climbing crags and rare wildlife. We are determined that any new partner would protect those aspects and continue to involve user groups and local people in its management.”

The Authority expects to seek expressions of interest by the end of May or early June, with tenders invited towards the end of this year. A decision could be made by March 2012, and any transfer could be completed by March 2013.

The Authority has recently:

• leased its largest estate, the Eastern Moors, to a partnership of the National Trust and RSPB

• sought partners for the Roaches estate in Staffordshire, with eight parties interested in its lease or sale. They must put in their bids by May 20 2011. Again conservation, access, recreation and local involvement are given the highest priority, with shooting rights excluded

• agreed to sell its Losehill Hall environmental learning and conference centre at Castleton to the YHA, which will run it as a youth hostel and learning centre.

This is an archived press release

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