MANAGEMENT of some of the Peak District’s most popular moorland is to be taken over by the National Trust and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds after the two charities reached an agreement with the national park authority.
The moors – Clod Hall, Leash Fen, Ramsley Moor, Big Moor and Totley Moss – will still be owned by the Peak District National Park Authority but will be managed by the charities through the Eastern Moors Partnership.
The total area covered by the agreement is 27 square kilometres and includes the walking and climbing areas of Curbar, Froggatt and Birchen Edges and 300 hectares of broadleaf woodland.
Under the agreement, the National Trust and RSPB plan to continue to restore internationally important habitats like blanket bog, increase wildlife, including curlews and water voles, and improve access for the hundreds of thousands of people who already visit the sites.
Other wildlife in the area includes the only adder colony in the Peak District, as well as water voles, golden-ringed dragonflies and one of only two wild red deer herds in the Peak District.
The Eastern Moors are visited by a quarter of a million people from around the world each year.
Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust, which already manages Peak District sites including Kinder Scout, said: “The Eastern Moors are an area of extraordinary natural beauty and an incredibly important habitat for wildlife and an internationally important site for its archaeology.
“I am delighted the National Trust and the RSPB are working together to provide some opportunities for people to enjoy this area of countryside and get closer to nature, whether they are climbers, mountain bikers, walkers or simply in need of some spiritual refreshment.”
Mike Clarke, RSPB chief executive, said: “The Eastern Moors Partnership will be working hard to enhance the experience visitors have and will provide new ways for people to enjoy the site.
“At the same time, we will develop a land management model which will be an example of how uplands can be managed in the future for people and wildlife.”