Conservation in the Peak District National Park involves more than preventing damage and leaving the countryside alone. Management is needed to maintain the variety and interest of the landscape. This involves
* Looking after the best features of the landscape, eg well maintained moorland and listed buildings.
* Improving neglected features eg rebuilding stonewalls and replanting woodlands.
* Managing development so that damage is limited eg building and recreation activities.
(2) Extent of Activity Now
English Nature has designated 3.4% of the Park as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These SSSI’s cover 23,862 hectares of the Peak District. In these areas, manages must consult English Nature before making any changes which would adversely affect the Nature Conservation interests. The Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve includes parts of 5 limestone dales and is managed by English Nature. Country Wildlife Trusts manage reserves totalling 300 hectares.
(3) Policies Governing Activity
Many organisations are involved in the Peak District National Park these are,
* English Nature- the official body responsible for promoting nature conservation nationally.
* English Heritage- responsible for archaeology and the built environment.
* Peak Park Joint Planning Board- they formulate the conservation policy for the Peak Park.
* National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts- are all also involved with the decisions about the Park.
The forestry commission and water companies own large areas of the Peak Park.
(4) The Benefits/Importance of Conservation
Conservation protects the land from being eroded by overgrazing and tourism. As well as this it monitors development so no unsuitable buildings are built which may spoil the traditional settlements and landscape within the Park. Conservation helps to protect wildlife in particular rare species, which may only be found within the Peak Park. For e.g. Grouse and Sphagnum moss.
Conservation protects the characteristics of the Park by encouraging farmers to carry out traditional activities, such as dry stone walling. All of this means that as many people can enjoy the Park as possible but most importantly it’s beauty can be viewed by future generations.
(5) The Future
In the next 50 years we would like to see a continue in the protection of the Peak Park as a living and changing environment. However in order for the park to fulfil it’s main aim, which is to show the diversity of life, to provide a beautiful place for city dwellers to visit and to limit development in order to sustain the natural environment restrictions on certain activities must be enforced.
We would like to discontinue the use of quarries, as quarrying causes unnecessary noise and air pollution and causes great scars in the natural landscape, which can never be totally repaired. As this is not appropriate as a large majority of Britain’s limestone and Fluorspar is provided from the Peak Park, we would not allow any NEW quarries to be started. We would like to limit tourism to such a degree that erosion and damage caused by recreation would be stopped, however once again this would not be possible.
It would be more reasonable to limit tourism to certain areas, which may be maintained when required or a small charge in place in order to repair any damage caused. The small roads and villages were not made for the amount of traffic, which is currently running along them. So many cars cause much pollution, which is likely to affect the quality of air. For this we would like to introduce a ban on private transport and would like to see an improvement in park and ride schemes and public transport!
The traditional activities of current farmers should be maintained to show the culture of the county side and the slower pace of life. Fertilisers should be positively rejected as these would soon damage the delicate balance of the current Peak Park. Small developments are fine but any major ones, which would spoil the natural feel of the Peak Park, should not take place. We must strive to provide a beautiful place for people from cities to visit and enjoy, however at present it seems that people are wrecking the very place they have come to admire!