Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Lowland Dry Acid Grassland

Peak District millstones on hillside near Stanage

Lowland Dry Acid Grassland (pdf full description) 

Approximate extent – 8,565 ha

Distribution – Across the Peak District

Opportunities and Threats

Extent - Occurs in limited areas in the White Peak on dale-brows and in association with lead rakes on the limestone plateau. Acid pastures are widespread in the Dark Peak and South West Peak but species-rich examples are very limited in extent.  Dale-brow grasslands are probably fairly stable in extent, but those associated with lead rakes and unimproved acid pastures have probably declined significantly through agricultural intensification.

Condition - Variable. Species-rich examples are very localised, though much of this may be inherent due to the geology. More may be of importance for grassland fungi than previously recognised.

Connectivity - Moderate in dales where part of extensive habitat mosaic, but usually truncated above the dale brow by agricultural improvement. Poor elsewhere, although some concentrations of acid pasture occur in places.

Climate change risks - Main risk is likely to be unpredictable impacts on farming practices leading to changes in ‘traditional’ management.


Variable inherent interest and continuing vulnerability to loss mean it is:

High priority to:

  • Maintain the condition of protected sites through appropriate management
  • Safeguard unprotected sites of importance, in particular:
  1. Sites which are particularly species-rich
  2. Sites of importance for grassland fungi
  3. Sites which form part of a moorland fringe habitat mosaic

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