A rich variety of wildlife is both a joy and a sign of a healthy natural environment. Biodiversity needs to be at the heart of everything we do - it is integral to tackling and adapting to climate change, as well as safeguarding our vital life-giving ecosystem services, from water and soil protection, to food and energy security.
In September 2010 Defra published 'Making Space for Nature: A review of England's Wildlife Sites and Ecological Networks', now more commonly known as the Lawton Review. The report concluded unequivocally that the collection of sites [in England designated for nature conservation] do not represent a coherent and resilient ecological network, and urged National Parks (and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to become exemplars of ecological networks.
Based on principles derived from the Lawton Review, the Peak District Biodiversity Action Plan (2011-2020)* aims to:
- enhance our landscapes with mosaics good quality, diverse habitats which are suitable to support a range of species;
- concentrate our efforts not just on high quality sites such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and nature reserves, but also on the land surrounding them;
- buffer important sites, creating larger areas of semi-natural habitats and linking habitats together, which should also to enhance the visual characteristics of the landscape;
- enable species to move and adapt in the face of climate change, and increase biodiversity;
- restore habitats such as peat bogs, moorlands and woodland, which help to absorb carbon, purify our water supplies, and reduce run-off, thereby helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Peak District BAP is based largely on the three National Character Areas (NCA) of the Dark Peak, White Peak and South West Peak. Each of these areas is defined by its landscape and a distinctive and characteristic mosaic of habitats and species that sets them apart from other areas of England. The Peak District BAP area includes the entirety of the Peak District National Park. The BAP area also incorporates some small parts of adjacent NCAs not covered by other Local BAPs.
* Produced by the Peak District Biodiversity Partnership, which was made up of statutory conservation agencies, non-government organisations, local government, utility companies, landowner/ manager representatives, naturalist groups, business, Derbyshire constabulary and individuals. The Biodiversity Partnership no longer exists, but the local Woodland BAP group still meets quarterly.