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£2.5m Heritage Lottery Fund boost for Peak District

This is an archived press release

Monday 17 November 2014

Landscape at a CrossroadsThe South West Peak Landscape Partnership has received an earmarked grant¹ of £2.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Landscape at a Crossroads project.

Through HLFs Landscape Partnership (LP) programme², the ambitious scheme will focus on developing a better understanding of this precious landscape and valuing what it provides for us in order to enhance and protect it into the future.

Development funding of £154,300 has been awarded to help the partnership progress plans to apply for the full grant at a later date.

This first phase is an opportunity for local people to have their say about why the South West Peak matters, and to work with the partners to develop and add to their existing project ideas including: helping farmers to maintain viable farm businesses whilst safeguarding and enhancing important habitats and iconic species like the curlew; working to improve water quality in rivers and streams; field studies opportunities and rural skills apprenticeships; encouraging people to access and enjoy the countryside; protecting and restoring small heritage features, and providing volunteering opportunities.

The three counties of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire meet at Three Shire's Head in the middle of the South West Peak. The area features the iconic Roaches gritstone ridge and Axe Edge Moors where the rivers Dove, Manifold, Goyt, Dane and Wye rise. The South West Peak is also home to an internationally important breeding bird community including short-eared owl, merlin and golden plover.

Heritage Lottery Fund logoPenny Anderson, a resident of Longnor in the South West Peak, and board member of the Peak District Local Nature Partnership who championed the project, said: "This is fantastic news, the project will be good for the local community, good for visitors, good for wildlife and all the benefits an enhanced environment can provide. It is a huge vote of confidence for all the hard work that went into the bid. I can't wait to help implement the projects."

In preparation for the bid to HLF, the partnership carried out a campaign called 'Give Five Words' to capture what was special to people about the South West Peak. One of the correspondents, Den Cartlidge, said: "I've been to lots of beautiful places in the British & Irish Isles, but I think there really is something unique about the South West Peak, in terms of landscape, natural history, and culture – a genuinely special and rather mysterious quality." More about the partnership and their community engagement work can be found at www.southwestpeak.co.uk

Lesley Roberts, Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: "As the first Staffordshire Parish Member chair, I am absolutely delighted at this funding for the South West Peak. It is the result of great partnership working and recognition of the importance of this unique and special Peak District landscape."

Drew Bennellick, HLF Head of Landscape and Natural Heritage, said: "On the eve of the National Lottery's 20th anniversary, we're delighted to be announcing our support for the 'South West Peak - A Landscape at a Crossroads' project.  It's also the perfect moment to thank Lottery players for helping make possible our Landscape Partnership programme."

"Ten years ago we developed Landscape Partnerships so that we could deliver conservation on a truly landscape scale.  With so many habitats and species in decline and people becoming less and less connected to nature and the land, the programme was the first of its kind to allow conservationists to work at a cross-landscape scale. The programme has grown rapidly and is now leading the way in allowing many of our most treasured landscapes, as well as some of our most damaged, to be managed for the future in a sustainable way.

"Engaging people as volunteers, training them as guides or helping them learn new skills has enabled local people to appreciate, value and speak up for the countryside. Our funding has led to new strategic partnerships between private, public, charitable and community bodies. It has also ensured that the UK's most precious resource, our landscape, will be protected for future generations."

¹ A Landscape Partnership (LP) earmarked grant means that money has been set aside by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the scheme in question. The applicant then progresses to the second round and submits a further, fully-developed application to secure the full award. This early level of strong financial commitment means that LPs can build strong partnerships with the assurance that funding for their scheme is in place provided that their final proposals fully meet the programme's criteria. For more information, please call Katie Owen, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.

² HLF's Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK's most outstanding landscapes and rural communities. Grants range from £100,000 up to £3m. The next closing date for LP applications is May 2015.

About the South West Peak Landscape Partnership
The South West Peak Landscape Partnership is led by the Peak District National Park Authority and currently includes the following partners: Staffordshire and Cheshire Wildlife Trusts, Natural England, Environment Agency, English Heritage, RSPB, The Farming Life Centre, Support Staffordshire (Staffordshire Moorlands), Staffordshire County Council, Severn Trent Water and United Utilities.

About the Peak District Local Nature Partnership
'Nature Peak District' is the Local Nature Partnership covering the Peak District. Local Nature Partnerships were proposed in the Governments White Paper 'Securing the Value of Nature' in June 2011. 48 Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) were formally recognised by Defra in September 2012. Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) are strategic partnerships of local organisations, businesses and individuals focused on the natural environment. The ambition for LNPs is that they will help their local area to manage the natural environment in a strategic and integrated way. By joining together they can do more to take a strategic, coordinated and clearer view of what needs doing in an area and how it can contribute to growth.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 37,000 projects, allocating over £6billion across the UK.

This is an archived press release

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