The White Peak is known for its gently rolling limestone plateau, dissected by limestone dales. In many places the dales are steep-sided and contrast sharply with the plateau land above, whilst in other places the plateau grades more gently into shallow dales. The ash woodlands in the dales are amongst the finest in Europe, and the clear limestone rivers and streams support many species. Colourful hay meadows can still be seen in some areas of the plateau, nestled between characteristic dry stone walls.
Our Vision for the White Peak is of a network of diverse grassland habitats, natural river corridors and wooded dales. A gently rolling limestone plateau characterised by a network of dry stone walls around species-rich pastures and hay meadows, with water-holding dewponds. Limestone dales supporting ashwoods, species-rich grassland and lead rakes, scrub, scree and rock habitats.
Flower-rich hay meadows, unimproved pastures, road verges and steeper slopes, although only a small and increasingly isolated proportion of the area of farmland on the plateau, provide essential refuges for many species such as skylarks and brown hares. They also make a significant contribution to the landscape with contrasting colours and flower-rich swards, with the wonderful displays of meadow cranesbill being a particular feature of the road verges. The network of dewponds, created to provide a source of drinking water for livestock, provides an important habitat for species such as water-crowfoot and the protected great crested newt.
A Landscape where the needs of farmers can be met alongside the needs of wildlife; where traditional farming practices encourage biodiversity in hay meadows buzzing with insects and the song of the skylark.