Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Purple Moor-grass and Rush Pasture

Peak District millstones on hillside near Stanage

Purple Moor-grass and Rush-pasture (pdf full description) 

Approximate extent - 100 ha, plus 830 ha rush-pasture for birds

Distribution - Small areas in the South West Peak and Dark Peak

Opportunities and Threats

Extent - Very limited areas of species-rich habitat. Some of this will be inherent, but there have also been historic losses through drainage for agriculture.

Condition - Probably generally good where sites survive. The remaining areas of botanically-poor rush pasture have considerable conservation benefit to breeding waders.

Connectivity - Moderate, with any sites occurring as part of a mosaic of semi-natural grasslands.

Climate change risks - The main risks are probably of drying-out associated with reduced summer rainfall and higher temperatures, and vulnerability of associated ground-nesting birds to climate change.


The limited area of this habitat means it is:

High priority to:

  • Safeguard unprotected sites.

The value of botanically-poor rush-pasture for declining breeding waders means it is:

High priority to:

  • Identify ‘hotspots’ of rush-pasture with wader interest, and instigate appropriate management.

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