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Dark Peak Objectives

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Broad objectives for the Dark Peak

  1. TO RESTORE DEGRADED BLANKET BOG
    • Continuing the restoration of large areas of eroding and bare peat by stabilising, re-vegetating and re-wetting, including the introduction of sphagnum moss.
  2. TO RESTORE AND EXPAND UPLAND HEATHLAND
    • Restoration of grass moor and degraded heathland back to upland heathland with a good mixture of dwarf shrub species.
    • Felling of conifer plantations in appropriate locations for restoration to upland heathland.
  3. TO ENHANCE AND RESTORE MOORLAND FRINGE HABITATS
    • Enhance in-bye (moorland edge) grasslands for birds, invertebrates, fungi and hay meadow communities by less intensive management and active restoration where necessary.
    • Managing scrub on the fringes of the moorland to create feathered edges and transitional habitats between the moorland and the in-bye grasslands.
  4. TO INCREASE SEMI-NATURAL WOODLAND
    • Restoration and creation of clough woodlands and encouraging tree cover on bracken dominated slopes in appropriate areas.
    • Linking ancient oak woodlands to de-fragment woodland habitat and increase the potential for woodland species to move and expand their ranges.
    • Restoring conifer Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) back to native broad-leaved woodlands in appropriate areas.
    • Restructuring moorland edge conifer plantations to increase the proportion of native broad-leaved trees and develop a transition zone between moorland and woodland.
  5. TO ENHANCE, RESTORE AND EXPAND WETLANDS AND RIVER CORRIDOR HABITATS
    • To enhance both the rivers and the adjacent river corridor habitats to develop a mosaic of wetlands, wet woodlands, meadows and pastures.
    • To enhance river corridors for desirable species.
    • To reduce the threat from non-native invasive species such as Himalayan balsam, American mink and American signal crayfish.

Conservation priorities

  • Sustain moorland restoration and management activity to restore degraded blanket bog to provide important carbon and water storage.
  • Restoration and creation of native woodland in cloughs and on bracken slopes.
  • Increase focus and efforts on enhancing moorland fringe habitats for birds, fungi and invertebrates
  • Increase efforts to manage and diversify the structure of upland heathland, and restore degraded heathland.
  • Enhancing semi-natural habitats across large landscapes

Opportunities for additional conservation activity

  • Additional opportunities for conservation action in the Dark Peak will come largely from recognising the benefit of intact ecosystems to habitats, species and people.
  • Ongoing management by major landowners such as the water companies and the National Trust will be vital.
  • Large areas of land currently managed within the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) scheme will need to convert to Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) or Upland Entry Level Stewardship (UELS) in the next few years.
  • The Forestry Commission’s Woodland Birds Project can deliver benefits to birds such as nightjar, willow tit, tree pipit, marsh tit and wood warbler on the moorland/woodland fringe.

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