£441,070 Government Grant Boosts Conservation Efforts in Peak District

The Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) has received a substantial Government grant of £441,070, marking a significant step forward in the conservation of the picturesque Warslow Moors Estate.

Spanning over 5000 acres, this vital expanse of moorland, farmland, and woodland is set to benefit from enhanced habitat conservation and wildlife protection.

Acquired from the Harpur Crewe family in 1986 as part of death duties paid to the Government, the Warslow Moors Estate has been under the stewardship of the PDNPA.

The estate is recognised both nationally and internationally for its conservation value, forming part of the Leek Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designated in 1989.

It also lies within the Peak District Moors (South Pennine Moors Phase 1) Special Protection Area (SPA) and the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

A view over Warslow Moors Estate (Image: PDNPA)

The Countryside Stewardship grant, provided by the Rural Payments Agency, will enable the PDNPA to implement crucial conservation work.

This includes the planting of sphagnum moss and other measures to enhance the moorland habitats.

The initiative aims to achieve the SSSI’s ‘favourable’ condition, contributing to the broader conservation goals of the region.

Phil Mulligan, Chief Executive of the PDNPA, expressed his delight at receiving the grant, which he believes will significantly boost moorland habitat and nature conservation.

The grant will support various environmental objectives, including carbon sequestration, peatland restoration, water quality improvement, and flood prevention downstream.

Chris Manby, Rural Estates Manager for the Peak District National Park, detailed the planned conservation activities.

These include rewetting and planting sphagnum moss to enhance and restore the hydrological function of blanket bog and wet heath habitats.

The project aims to reduce erosion, slow the flow of water during heavy rainfall, retain water on the moors, reduce fire risks, and improve habitat resilience and carbon capture.

The spread of sphagnum moss is also a key focus, given its importance in peatland ecosystems.

This funding represents a significant investment in the future of the Peak District’s natural landscape, ensuring the continued protection and enhancement of one of the UK’s most cherished natural environments.

The PDNPA’s efforts underscore the importance of preserving these habitats for future generations, maintaining the region’s biodiversity, and supporting the broader environmental goals of the UK.

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