Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. They provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone.
Their remit is to ensure sustainable stewardship of the land and sea so that people and nature can thrive. It is our responsibility to see that England’s rich natural environment can adapt and survive intact for future generations to enjoy.
They work with farmers and land managers; business and industry; planners and developers; national and local government; interest groups and local communities to help them improve their local environment.
Peak District Moorlands
The Natural England Conservation Plan Project is a project of capital works on privately owned moorland in the Peak District National Park. The works are managed and delivered by Moors for the Future on behalf of the landowner.
The £2.5 million pTheyroject is spread over a number of single projects across the Dark Peak and South Pennines and aims to restore moorland habitats of national and European importance. It will also lead to improvements for local communities in landscape, water quality and variety of the plant, animal and insect life.
The peat moorland in this area has been severely damaged by pollution from the industrial revolution, wild fires and has suffered from erosion from wind and rain. Moorland blanket bogs are home to nesting and migratory birds including the endangered twite or Pennine finch. Sphagnum moss and native plants including heather, cottongrass, bilberry, crowberry and cloudberry will be reintroduced. Sphagnum moss is important for the production of peat and has been almost completely wiped out by industrial pollution and wildfires.
We work with stakeholders, including individual landowners and Natural England, who are the designating body for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). All of the sites we work on as part of this project are SSSIs that have deteriorated to an "unfavourable /declining”1 condition and our aim is to bring them to an "unfavourable/improving”2 condition.
Plans for each individual project are drawn up with the landowner and Natural England with the aim of improving the moorland habitat and benefitting biodiversity. The range of works is tailored to the land type and use and ranges from:
• constructing fire ponds
•removing invasive rhododendrons
•spreading geotextiles to stabilize the bare peat
•applying lime, seed and fertilizer
By the end of the project in 2013 we will have built up to 10 kilometres of upland paths in areas where the high number of visitors has had a major impact on the habitat. The footpaths on these well-loved walking routes above Edale and on Kinder Scout are being put in place so that walkers can enjoy the impressive natural wilderness without having a negative impact on it.
1 The special interest of the SSSI unit is not being conserved and will not reach favourable condition unless there are changes to the site management or external pressures.
2 Not yet fully conserved but all the necessary management measures are in place. Provided that the recovery work is sustained, the SSSI will reach favourable condition in time.
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