# Intention 3.1: Establish monitoring at a landscape scale
We want to work with partners to help us to understand how and why the landscape is changing, whether changes are positive or not and how we should address the changes to conserve and enhance the Special Qualities of the Peak District National Park.
We have identified a programme of research to assess how the Peak District landscape is changing in a meaningful and practical way. Landscape incorporates many components; this means that a single project or indicator cannot explain landscape change. The programme of research aims to measure change across the following themes;
- Land Cover (including long term change) – what is happening on the ground?
- Landscape Quality – what are the features and factors impacting positively and negatively on the landscape?
- Public Perception – how people feel and respond to change?
- Built Development – extent and visual influence and impact?
- Recording areas of known change e.g. what impact have our restoration activities had; what do we know about the impact of moorland fires?
- Climate Change – What are the vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity of National Park features?
- Landscape metrics – how do data and Environment Plan indicators contribute to environmental and landscape change?
The intention is that these themes will be brought together in a comprehensive Landscape Assessment every 5 years.
The proposals have been delayed by the impact of Covid19, which has restricted partner availability and prevented access to land and facilities. . However, work with Cranfield University has progressed and funding is being sought for a wider application of the approach than initially proposed. This expanded approach is being led by the University. Progress has been made with the repeat of landscape description unit photographs and a draft methodology for interpretation has been produced.
# Intention 3.2: Develop a White Peak partnership
The White Peak Partnership has been key to the delivery of Intention 2.1 securing funding for future land management for the benefit of all, and further information is provided under that section.
The White Peak Project tested the following:
- Use of a National Character Area framework to deliver public goods and the 25 Year Environment Plan in language accessible to land managers.
- Development of a ‘ready reckoner’ to show the public goods being delivered e.g. carbon.
- Trial of a nature recovery network.
The tests on the use of National Character Areas in spatial prioritisation of new agri-environmental support were considered a success and have been expanded to other areas.
The practical field trials have continued and funding has been secured from Defra to share the on-going findings with others during 21/22. A report on the activities and findings so far has also been produced and shared.
The Natural England led LIFE in the Ravines application to the EU LIFE fund was successful and started in September with a five-year programme. The project aims to restore and improve 876ha of our internationally important ash woodlands as part of the response to ash dieback. At present a project board is being established and recruitment to posts. Initial safety work has led to discussions with local communities about the links to natural flood management.
An application to the Natural Environment Investment Ready Fund has been made for consultancy time to explore the use of private funds for the delivery of biodiversity outcomes on private land. This seeks to builds on the experience of the White Peak DEFRA tests. A newsletter on the activities of the Partnership and in the White Peak has been produced and shared.
# Intention 3.3: Maintain existing landscape scale delivery
To maintain existing landscape scale delivery we will develop a clear long term vision, plan and have funding in place for the Dark Peak and South Pennines to 2050. We will develop a clear future plan and funding to develop and continue landscape scale delivery on the South West Peak.
# Moors for the Future Partnership
This year has seen Moors for the Future Partnership’s (MFFP) successful completion of their biggest programme of works to date, with £5.2 m of project delivery; including 28.6 ha of bare peat stabilised to prevent rapid erosion, 1,036 ha of sphagnum moss plugs planted to restart the creation of new peat, almost 10,000 dams and gully blocks installed to raise the water table and slow erosion, nearly 15 km of drip edges and other actively eroding peat reprofiled for stability. 1.25 km of footpath has been restored (with a further 0.5km to be completed by the end of April) in support of the Mend our Mountains campaign, allowing better access while preventing further damage.
The annual vegetation and dipwell surveys were completed by staff and volunteers, providing monitoring data on 211 long-term vegetation quadrats and 600 dipwells to improve our understanding of how effective our conservation work is and help to assess and quantify the benefits delivered across the Peak District and South Pennines. Four academic journal papers were published in collaboration with the Partnership.
The partnership also promoted its activities and messaging through engagement with 13,000 people at 35 events, both online and in person. Media coverage on 94 occasions including national news. A wildfire log was created to enable a unified system for wildfire recording across the Peak District and South Pennines.
Yorkshire Water Services and Severn Trent Water now have peat restoration projects organised through MFFP up to 2025. Further to this, all three water utilities (Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water Services and United Utilities) are interested in working through the Partnership on Ofwat’s Price Review 24 (PR24), which will lead to the next set of Asset Management Plan 8 projects from 2025 to 2030. Bidding work is underway to replace the EU funded project, which has just a year left to run. The new Strategic Management Board is now in place and will be providing high-level advocacy for future business across the working area of the Partnership.
# South West Peak Landscape Partnership
The full programme review has been completed and approved by the Partnership Board and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Delivery continued this winter, including: small-scale tree planting schemes, buffer strip fencing, access improvements, cultural heritage asset recording, preparation for restoration to two field barns, wild play activities for children and families.
Additional funding of £56,000 was secured by the partnership for moorland restoration work on the Warslow Moors Estate, and the partnership is currently in discussion with partners, the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water, regarding potential future funding agreements. A programme of future funding opportunities is under development.
# Future Actions:
Agreed targets for the percentage of blanket bog in the Dark Peak and South Pennines in improved ecological condition:
- 30% of Blanket Bog across the Southern Pennines to be in state 6 by 2050
- 90% of Dark Peak Blanket Bog moved out of state 2 by 2023 (bare peat to be revegetated)
- 25% of the Southern Pennine Blanket bogs to be moved out of state 2 by 2023