Pioneering bid to protect Peak District moors

A NEW strategy is beginning to emerge to manage Peak District moorland on the outskirts of Sheffield.

Councillors will today (Thursday) look at the prospect of working with the National Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds over the future of Burbage, Houndkirk and Hathersage Moors.

It is being seen as part of a wider Sheffield Moors Partnership to try to secure more resources and expertise to protect the habitat and wildlife while ensuring public access.

Burbage, Houndkirk and Hathersage were bought by the council’s water committee in the 1930s and are popular with walkers, bird watchers, mountain bikers, fell runners, climbers and 4x4 drivers. They support a wide variety of wildlife.

But there can be concerns such as over-grazing, erosion and the damage caused by illegal use by 4x4s.

Now the council is planning to extend a Peak District partnership to cover its own moorland, lining up a deal with the National Trust and RSPB .

Already the Peak Park National Authority is working on a similar arrangement for part of its estate.

Council officer David Howarth said: “It is difficult to overstate the advantages such a ground-breaking partnership could deliver, not only in securing conservation of the ecology, landscape and cultural heritage of the area but also in extending visitor opportunities.”

The situation will be discussed at the council’s South West Community Assembly at Tapton School in Darwin Lane tonight from 7pm, although the final word will rest with the council’s cabinet.