Changes in climate and population could result in an increased number of visitors to rural areas to leave behind overheating cities. Due to the number of larger cities adjacent to the Peak District the number of people visiting during summer times will increase considerably.
The Peak District should be a welcoming and inspiring place for visitors, and the Authority understands the advantages and opportunities offered through a change in regional climates. We welcome an increase of people visiting the Peak District for recreational purposes and its promotion as an attractive destination for tourists. A change in climate is therefore not considered to have merely negative impacts, but also bares opportunities for the National Park. We want to raise awareness about the impacts resulting from increasing visitor numbers in line with our management strategy which aims at promoting sustainable tourism.
Impacts from warmer, wetter winters:
- Impacts on infrastructure for instance blocked drains, and gullies on roads
- Road and rail route obstructions as a result of severe weather events and increasing vegetation
- Erosion and damage to roads and rail routes.
Impacts from hotter, drier summers:
- Sites which are already very popular, such as Castleton, Dovedale and Bakewell, face a further increase in visitor numbers
- Increasing traffic and congestion pressuring infrastructure and communities
- Decreasing air quality as a result of increasing traffic exhaust
- Strain on the rights of way and open land access imposed through more frequent wild fires
- Greater demand for routes close to water and shade, pressure on certain access points.