Tuesday, November 27, 2012

National Trust High Peak Vision Consultation

Please see the following in relation to the High Peak

The National Trust is currently consulting on plans for it ambitious new 25 vision covering its High Peak Estate within the Peak district National Park.
The High Peak estate has the potential to be a sustainably managed landscape, home to a diverse range of species and habitats and a place that all of society can enjoy. The High Peak, like many upland areas across the UK has its challenges. It is currently at the mercy of its current land tenure and has been ravaged by the effects of bad burning practice and the effects of overgrazing. This area, notably the Derwent Valley is also one of the worst parts of the UK for illegal persecution of birds of prey – this is simply unacceptable on National Trust land in one of the UK’s most prestigious national parks.

If fully deployed, the Trusts vision for this upland landscape could be revolutionary in how it manages this large upland landscape. In summary, some of its main aims include:
·         Removal of inappropriate burning practices from deep peat blanket bog – current burning practices cause damage to bog vegetation, risking carbon loss and exacerbate run off and water storage. Current burning creates heather dominated monocultures that benefit few species, by removing burning and deep heather from bog and associated hydrological restoration it should create wet diverse bogs that are home to iconic species like golden plover and dunlin.
·         An ambitious program of moorland and bog hydrological restoration techniques to restore hydrology and restore damaged peat soils.
·         Sustainably managed grazing that looks at preventing damage to delicate upland dwarf shrub mosaics. The use of different grazing animals such as cattle in appropriate locations that will facilitate the recovery of upland vegetation.
·         An ambitions woodland vision that creates a network of upland woodland and scrub habitats that create future homes for some of our important upland woodland species. These plans will also improve moorland edge habitats for species for key species such as whinchat and tree pipit and allow these upland habitats adapt to the challenges of climate change.
·         Create a landscape that is home to all nature including iconic species such as birds of prey. The Trusts High Peak estate should support key populations of species such as hen harrier, merlin and goshawk that are currently prevented colonising by illegal persecution. Future land management tenants will be partners in the National Trusts vision and birds of prey will be key indicators of success of tenancies. Robust action will be taken against future tenants who don’t share the Trusts desire to see birds of prey on the estate.

The National Trust will no doubt be under a great deal of pressure over their new vision from interested single-issue groups who do not like the thought of these much needed changes. Previous public consultations appear to have been overtaken by vocal minority groups, much of this can be seen from the results of the Trusts previous consultations available on the High Peak moors website that contain worrying statements like “more shooting and burning”, “less access and anti-shooting”, “less vermin” and “continued moorland management to favour red grouse production”.

The National Trust is now carrying out its final public consultation on the contents of its vision and is keen to hear views from a large proportion of individuals, organisations and interest groups. The current consultation ends on the 30th November and I would urge you all to go and look at the draft vision and comment on it, either by answering the small number of questions or just to say if you agree with its direction of travel. This is a key opportunity for you to engage your friends, colleagues and members in supporting the National Trust in the deployment of its vision which should aim to make its High Peak estate better for biodiversity and priority species such as birds of prey. Without your support, the Trusts vision may stall in this currently difficult political climate.

In order to view and comment on the vision, please visit the High Peak Moors website: http://www.high-peak-moors.co.uk/
Please circulate the consultation details to your friends, contacts and members and encourage them to comment by the 30th November.

Although this does not specifically relate to our area I feel it worth circulating, whatever goes ahead in the Peak District could form the blue print for other upland areas including our own.  I have commented on behalf of CBCG and comments have also been submitted on behalf of the Raptor sub Group, if anyone else wishes to comment the questionnaire is brief and easy to complete.


Andrew Huyton said...

Done, agree with your comment re potential impact here and would encourage others to review and comment.

Jeff Cox said...

Reviewed and commented. Very interesting document but takes a while to get through.