This is an archived press release
Friday 4 July 2014
Today (July 4), Defra minister Lord de Mauley saw how the people on the ground are preparing the Peak District National Park ahead of the Tour de France Grand Départ which is due on Sunday.
Lord de Mauley travelled part of the race route and visited Holme Moss where he met Peak District National Park Rangers, staff and volunteers, representatives of Kirklees, Barnsley, Derbyshire Councils and TDFHub2014 (the Grand Départ organising company) and representatives of United Utilities.
Holme Moss is one of the most significant locations in the Grand Départ stage2 (Sunday 6 July). It is a very remote area where the surrounding land is specially protected for its ecological and wildlife importance, used for farming and water catchment, and as such is vulnerable to moorland fire and disturbance.
The Minister saw the work being done by Peak District National Park staff and partners to protect the environment and understand the complex operational issues of this challenging location. He also met representatives of the local community.
Lord de Mauley was shown the Woodhead Pass providing National Park senior officials the opportunity to consider the long-running sensitive countryside protection issues to do with the A628 Strategic Trunk Road and the future of the National Grid high voltage transmission lines there.
Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said: "National parks showcase our environment and it is fantastic to see world class athletes competing in the Tour de France in this beautiful setting.
"Tourism provides vital income for our national parks and events like this help to boost the rural economy by drawing in thousands of visitors to the area."
Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: "Our naturally beautiful landscape may appear rugged but it is a sensitive environment – a living mosaic of sensitive wildlife habitats, working farmland and historic features, such as the drystone walls.
"This has been a great opportunity for us to show the Minister at first hand the hard work and extra efforts that our staff and partner organisations have dedicated to helping make the Grand Départ a fantastic event for everyone to celebrate and remember."