The Peak District National Park is an incredibly popular location for schools to visit. However, it is also a protected landscape which can be at risk from even low numbers of visitors at more sensitive locations.
As a National Park our primary purpose is to conserve and enhance the natural landscape and our secondary purpose is to promote opportunities for understanding why that is so important. A careful balance has to be maintained.
National Parks want people to access these special places but at the same time we want to make sure that the very act of studying these special places doesn't start to degrade and destroy them. All activities need to be measured and sustainable.
General Guidance for School Visits
If you are organising a school visit, you will know there is a lot to do, but in addition to the logistics of bringing a group of young people into the outdoors there are some further considerations that need to be made too.
- Have you thought about the ecological impact of what you want to do on the habitats and species living there?
- Have you asked the landowner whether you can access their land with an organised group?
- Is this land a Site of Special Scientific Interest? Because if it is you will need to ask Natural England for permission too. You can find out where the SSSI boundaries are by looking at Magic Map.
- There is a lot of detail on how to do this in Running an Organised Event below.
Guidance specific to the Peak District National Park
There are a whole range of teaching resources available for download to help you run a successful field trip, from National Park talks and village studies to hydrology and fluvial geomorphology.
- The Peak District National Park Learning team is no longer offering tutored days in the Edale valley to Grindsbrook and Golden Clough but they are still offering tutored days at other sites to a limited number of groups. The River Noe site in Edale is no longer available as it is on private land. To find out more read the advice below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- It is still possible to visit the Edale sites but as a self - led group only and subject to the above considerations, of landowners permission and sensitivity of this SSSI site. See detailed guidance advice.
The National Trust have produced a very good section of advice on their website for the Longshaw Estate and the Eastern Moors. This area includes the ever popular Padley Gorge area. If you are thinking of visiting please read the guidance.
If your visit is more than an ordinary school visit, something like a sponsored walk or larger scale visit involving more than normal class sizes you may want to look at the guidance offered.
Above is a You tube link with some useful tips for venturing outdoors. All common sense really.