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Biodiversity Action Plan - Peak District National Park

Biodiversity Action Plan - Peak District National Park

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Published by: glynis on Apr 18, 2011
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This Action Plan is put forward as the primary natureconservation document for the Peak District, sharedbetween a wide-ranging partnership of organisations.It aims to set the agenda for wildlife conservationpriorities in the area over the next ten years, and tohelp guide the policies and actions of all those whoinfluence the wildlife of the Peak District.
The targets and actions set out in the Plan are, of necessity, ambitious if we are to conserve and enhancethe area’s wildlife. We hope that the Plan will provide amilestone in encouraging the necessary shift to moreproactive work targeted at conservation priorities. Tothis end it is very much a working document againstwhich progress towards specific targets and actions willbe monitored. It is envisaged that many actions will becarried out using existing resources. In doing so we willneed to make more effective use of resources by co-ordinated targeting amongst partners. Other actions willrequire efforts to secure additional funding, and thisPlan is an appeal to all those who care for the PeakDistrict to join us in putting resources intoimplementation of the Plan. By setting out a programmeof shared objectives and targets this Plan provides animportant framework for seeking such resources, and if asignificant number of the targets are met over the next5-10 years then wildlife will have a much brighter futurein the Peak District.Although it covers a wider area than the National Park,this plan also forms an integral part of the Peak DistrictNational Park Management Plan. It is the first of thedetailed Action Plans to be produced followingpublication of the strategy document in 2000.
or further information on the Peak District Biodiversity Action Plan contact: 
Peak District National Park Authority’s Ecology Service,Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1AETel: 01629 816200Fax: 01629 816310E-mail: aldern@peakdistrict-npa.gov.ukWebsite: www.peakdistrict.org
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From the magnificent expanses of purple heather in latesummer and the evocative call of grouse or curlew, tothe colourful dale side displays of orchids and cowslipsin the spring, wildlife is very much a part of thelandscape in the Peak District. It is an integral part of the “Peak District experience” for residents and visitors,young and old, the expert and the curious alike. We arefortunate that on our doorstep we have such a diversemosaic of landscapes supporting a wealth of plants andanimals, some of which can be found in few other placesin the world.…And yet we take this wonderful “living landscape” for granted at our peril. In the 16
century black grousewere considered to be more common than red grouse inthe Peak District. It must have been unthinkable thatthis magnificent bird could ever become extinct in theregion, and yet within the last few years the unthinkablehas happened. The end of the 20
century has alsoseen continuing loss of flower-rich hay meadows, withover half of the meadows within the National Park havingdisappeared over a 10-year period. The loss of habitatsand species like these, once such a familiar andcharacteristic part of the landscape, has deprived thePeak District of some of the features that make it such aspecial and distinctive place.This Biodiversity Action Plan has been drawn up by apartnership of conservation organisations, governmentagencies and landowner/manager representatives, led bythe Peak District National Park Authority. Its purpose isto set out an agreed way forward which will ensure thatfuture generations will be able to enjoy as rich andvaried wildlife in the Peak District as we can today.Importantly, it also sets out to redress some of thesubstantial losses in wildlife that the area has sufferedover the last 50 years in particular, to help turn the tideof recovery. Wide ownership of the Plan has beenencouraged through the establishment of a Peak DistrictBiodiversity Partnership - the first time that such a widerange of interests has been involved together inconsidering wildlife conservation issues in the area. Theaim of the Plan is to bring together as many people aspossible - from organisations to individuals - in acommon cause.
A wide range of organisations have been involved in contributing to the writing of this plan, and the organisationsparticipating in the partnership are listed in Appendix 8.3. Their help in commenting on the draft Plan, resulting insignificant changes and improvements, is gratefully acknowledged. Particular contributions have been made by thoseorganisations and individuals who have been involved in the Wildlife Executive Group and the Habitat/SpeciesBiodiversity Groups, as listed in Appendix 8.4. These Groups have overseen the production of the plan as a whole,and the following members of the habitat and species groups wrote individual draft Habitat and Species ActionPlans:Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (Pat Brassley)English Nature (Audra Hurst, Ben le Bas and Jon Stewart)Forestry Commission (Neil Riddle)National Trust (John Malley and Steve Trotter)Peak District National Park Authority (Helen Buckingham, Rebekah Newman and Rhodri Thomas)Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (Roy Taylor)The groups have been chaired by The Environment Agency (Valerie Holt), Farming and Rural Conservation Agency(John Martindale), Forestry Commission (Matthew Woodcock/Neil Riddle), National Farmers Union (AndrewRichards) and the Peak Park Moorland Owners and Tenants Association (John Lees).The final text has been prepared by the Peak District National Park Authority’s Ecology Service and Farm &Countryside Service (Helen Buckingham, Rebekah Newman and Rhodri Thomas).Publication of this Plan has been funded by the following organisations, which the Partnership would like to gratefullyacknowledge:Countryside AgencyEnvironment AgencyThe following organisations have also contributed funding towards publication of the Action Plan:Council for the Protection of Rural EnglandCountry Land and Business AssociationDerbyshire County CouncilEnglish NatureForestry CommissionMacclesfield Borough CouncilNational TrustNorth West Water Peak District National Park AuthorityStancliffe Stone Company Ltd.Tarmac Central Ltd.We would like to thank the following organisations for permission to reproduce data:RSPB (decline in breeding waders-page23)Countryside Agency (changes in land cover-page24)
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Artwork: Gary ShortDesign: Diane Tranter Photography: Ray Manley
(additional photographs: Rhodri Thomas and Alan Gladwin)
Printed: J.W. Northend, SheffieldCopyright © Peak District National Park Authority, 2001
The Peak District Biodiversity ActionPlan:
is a Plan for conserving and enhancing the wildliferesource of the Peak District and delivering associatedsocio-economic benefitsis one of a series of Local Biodiversity Action Plansthroughout the country contributing towards the UKBiodiversity Action Plan and the internationalBiodiversity Convention signed at the Rio EarthSummit in 1992covers the “wider” Peak District including areasoutside the National Parkhas been produced through consultation with a PeakDistrict Biodiversity Partnership which has beenestablished, involving a wide range of landmanagement, recreation and conservation interestsseeks to conserve and enhance our existing wildlifeand to redress past losses through habitat restoration,(re-)creation and targeted action for priority speciesidentifies priorities based on international or nationalimportance, local distinctiveness, and vulnerable or declining habitats/speciessets clear objectives and measurable targets through aseries of Habitat and Species Action Plans and KeyActionssets ambitious but realistic targets, dependent in parton the success of attracting additional resourceswill be implemented through the BiodiversityPartnershipis one of the detailed Action Plans forming part of thePeak District National Park Management Planwill be monitored and periodically updated, with a fullreview in 2010
manage their land sympathetically for wildlife it must beeconomically viable for them to do so. There is already avery strong emphasis and reliance on a voluntaryapproach to wildlife conservation, and it will beimportant to build on this further so that the need for implementation of more regulatory mechanisms isminimised.Landowners, farmers, local residents and businesses in
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1.1Overall Aims
We are fortunate in the Peak District to have inherited alandscape with such a rich diversity of wildlife, the resultof past land-use activities. However, the more recentincreasing pace of change has led to the loss or declineof many habitats and species. This Plan sets out specificobjectives, targets and actions, agreed throughconsultation with a wide partnership of land-use,conservation and recreation interests, to conserve our existing wildlife resource and where possible to restoreprevious habitats and species so that we can hand on acountryside richer in wildlife to future generations.15 Habitat and 7 Species Action Plans have been drawnup for those habitats and species which are a particular priority, with further work proposed for identifyingothers of concern. Other Action Plans will be developedas this work progresses.The Peak District has seen substantial changes in thepast and will continue to do so in the future. Our visionis not to ”fossilise” the landscape, but to ensure thatland-use is sustainable for wildlife. The Plan aims toinfluence and manage changes so that priority habitatsand species are safeguarded and enhanced as far aspossible and opportunities are created for change tobenefit wildlife for the future. It aims to encourage adiverse countryside where wildlife is an integral part of the landscape, not confined to specially protected sites(although such sites would continue to give particular priority to wildlife). A more diverse mosaic of linkedhabitats is envisaged, ensuring a sound future for thosespecies that depend on a variety of habitats andproviding a network of corridors and stepping stones for wildlife (particularly to allow more effective dispersaland migration in the face of climate change). Theencouragement of ecological processes such as naturalcolonisation, retention of local genetic distinctivenessand extensive grazing regimes is an important objectivealongside the conservation of specific habitats andspecies in their own right.An important objective of the Plan is to increase thesocial and economic benefits of wildlife conservation sothat it becomes increasingly regarded as more of apositive asset and less of a constraint.For land managers to be successfully encouraged to
1. Summary - A Vision for Wildlife in the Peak District

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