Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Alport Management Plan

Woodland, heather moorland and grassland separated by dry stone wall

The Alport Valley is a spectacular and dramatic valley cutting into the edge of Bleaklow Plateau in the Dark Peak Natural Area of the Peak District National Park. Much of it lies within the Dark Peak Site of Special Scientific Interest and the South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area for Birds. It is also a candidate Special Area of Conservation. It has steep and rugged valley sides with the impressive landslip of Alport Castles dominating the eastern skyline. It contains the meandering River Alport and a variety of important habitats and locally uncommon species. The flattened valley floor is a patchwork of ancient stone walled or hedge enclosed fields, while some of the steeper valley sides have been planted up to the skyline with conifers from a time of intensive timber production.

Most of the valley is now owned by the National Trust and will be managed with the Forestry Commission to gradually convert the conifer plantations to a mosaic of semi-natural habitats of open native woodland, acid grassland and upland heath, with open streams and wet flushes. A number of experimental techniques will be used as clear felling and removal of such a large quantity of timber would be harmful to the environment and disruptive to the residents of the valley. Other works will help retain the characteristic features of the valley such as the hedgerows, drystone walls and field barns. The valley will continue to be farmed in a way sensitive to the needs of conservation. Low-key walking access in the valley will be maintained in good condition.

The Management Plan was produced in full consultation and agreement with a number of partners. The Alport Advisory Group consisted of representatives of the National Trust, Forestry Commission, Peak District National Park Authority, English Nature, Severn Trent Water, Derwent and Hope Woodlands parish council, local residents, Ramblers' Association and the BMC. It sets out a vision for the long-term future of the Alport Valley, giving details on how it will be achieved and by whom. It is an exciting opportunity to restore native habitats and improve the valley for wildlife. The valley will continue to be enjoyed by walkers who come to appreciate its special characteristics.

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