Last modified: 23 July 2012
Nick Clegg with Sheffield Moors Partnership.
Image: The RSPB
Nick Clegg has been donning his walking boots and waterproofs to support a major new conservation project in the Peak District National Park.
On Friday 20 July, representatives from the Sheffield Moors Partnership (SMP) took the MP for Sheffield Hallam to Hathersage Moor in his constituency where they shared their plans for landscape-scale conservation initiative encompassing 57 sq km (approx 8,000 football pitches) of publicly owned moorland to the west of the city.
This area comprises a mosaic of moorland, meadows, bogs and deciduous woodland, supporting rare breeding birds such as merlins and golden plovers. It also boasts one of only two red deer herds in the National Park and its only colony of adders.
The Sheffield Moors Partnership (SMP) has been formed to develop and enhance this landscape for the benefit of wildlife and local people through a programme of nature conservation, recreation, access improvement and public engagement projects including volunteering and lifelong learning.
The SMP consists of the five landowning and managing organisations: Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Wildlife Trust, Peak District National Park Authority, National Trust and the RSPB, as well as Natural England.
Rita Whitcomb is the Sheffield Moors Project Officer. She says: “These moors are amazing places for nature and wildlife but they have the potential to be even better. This project aims to expand, enhance and link up these special places for local wildlife and people.
“By creating habitats such as new woodlands and creating better access, we want the Sheffield Moors to offer a high-quality natural environment that is teeming with wildlife, which in turn helps to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities, as well as offering additional public goods such as flood alleviation for Sheffield.
“We want local people to cherish and value this wonderful landscape which is why we are developing our project Master Plan at grass roots level with a series of ongoing public consultation and stakeholder engagement.”
Nick Clegg said: “As a Sheffield MP, large swathes of my constituency are within the Peak District therefore I know first-hand just what an asset it is to have this outstanding place of natural beauty on our doorstep.
“Along with thousands of Sheffielders, I regularly take advantage of all the fantastic opportunities the Peak District has to offer. Therefore it is only right that we support conservation efforts to ensure future generations can enjoy the same benefits we do.
“I am particularly delighted to support the conservation at Sheffield’s Moors in my constituency. Not only will it help preserve rare wildlife and their habitats, it should also help improve access so that we can all enjoy this beauty spot even more.”
The Sheffield Moors Partnership forms part of the wider Dark Peak: Public and Private Lands Nature Improvement Area Partnership (Dark Peak NIA). This is one of 12 government-funded projects taking a landscape-scale approach to meet the challenges facing our wildlife.
The Dark Peak NIA has secured £400k towards implementing the Sheffield Moors Partnership Master Plan, which is scheduled for launch in early 2013.
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