Peak District moors lease plan agreed by council

8 Sept 2015.......Walkers on Burbage Moor in the Peak District. . A long-term plan to support the future sustainable management of the moorlands on the edge of Sheffield is being considered by the council's cabinet committee next week. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1009/42f

8 Sept 2015.......Walkers on Burbage Moor in the Peak District. . A long-term plan to support the future sustainable management of the moorlands on the edge of Sheffield is being considered by the council's cabinet committee next week. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1009/42f

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Plans to hand over large parts of the Peak District for a charity and conservation group to run have been agreed.

Sheffield Council cabinet chief Coun Isobel Bowler said the authority was not ‘handing them over and walking away’ after the proposals were given the go ahead yesterday.

It means that Burbage, Houndkirk and Hathersage Moors - an area of around four square miles - will be leased to the National Trust and the RSPB for 25 years.

Coun Bowler said at the cabinet meeting in Sheffield Town Hall: “Thank you to the officers who have worked on this and I think it is a positive step.

“This isn’t a position of us handing it over and walking away, we are working in partnership.”

The council has owned Burbage, Houndkirk and Hathersage Moors since the 1920s.

For the last five years the National Trust has managed the land on a temporary basis but the short-term agreement is restrictive.

The meeting also heard that the partnership would address dwindling funding problems while continuing to improve green spaces highly ‘valued’ by the public.

Now £350,000 of investment can be made on the moors, plus extra staff such as rangers and a co-ordinated approach to visitor management for the first time.

Jon Stewart, general manager for the National Trust in the Peaks, said after the meeting: “It will really enhance the area -we can bring our experts in.”