Situated in the northern reaches of the Peak District, the Dark Peak is characterised by remote, peat-dominated upland moors and rocky gritstone crags. It is an awe-inspiring landscape which is home to a range of upland plants and animals.
It is also extremely popular with climbers, walkers and cyclists; a getaway for the people of Greater Manchester, Sheffield and surrounding towns to take a break from the urban grind.
Although there is some amazing wildlife in the area, the moorland has lost much of its natural moss-rich vegetation, which is now only found in small isolated pockets. This is because much of the peatland habitat, known as blanket bog, has been damaged by industrial pollution, overgrazing and burning.
This has led to erosion, with peat washing into streams and reservoirs. Blanket bog is globally rare and vital as a carbon store, water source and home for wildlife.
As part of the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area, we are working with a range of partners to restore these habitats and give nature a home across the Dark Peak. By restoring blanket bog, flower-rich grassland, heath, scrub and woodlands, we are helping to lock up carbon and improve water quality.
We are also working to improve access to the Dark Peak so everyone can enjoy even more of the dramatic landscape.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape is:
A landscape which will take your breath away. Towering hills, sheer rock faces, swathes of open moorland, a picturesque reservoir - that's Dove Stone, the northern gateway to the Peak District National Park.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Dark Peak. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
- British Mountaineering Council
- The Environment Agency
- Moors for the Future
- Natural England
- National Trust
- Peak District National Park Authority
- Sheffield City Council
- United Utilities
- The Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham
Saving special places
Taking ‘Favourable Conservation Status’ out of the ‘too difficult’ box
Favourable Conservation Status (FCS) is a concept enshrined in international, European and national nature protection laws. Head of Sites Conservation Policy, Kate Jennings explains the idea of identifying what good looks like for habitats and s...(r...Posted 13/02/2020 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
After the hurricane - Improving small island resilience and self-sufficiency in habitat monitoring and management in the UKOTS
Clearing up: Credit Louise Soames Blog by Lyndon John (RSPB) and Louise Soames The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season dealt devastating blows to the Caribbean region, particularly for the Caribbean UKOTs. The islands of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands.....Posted 20/06/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Victory for Harapan Rainforest
Beautiful Hutan Harapan forest is a precious remnant of the rainforest that once covered much of Sumatra (Photo: RSPB-images/Steve Roland) Hutan Harapan is one of the last remaining areas of dry lowland Sumatran forest and is among the most th...(r...Posted 12/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Rila Mountains: The Final Piece in Bulgaria's Protected Area Network for Birds
Daniel Pullan, our International Casework Manager writes: I was thrilled last week when my Bulgarian colleague Irina Mateeva told me that the Bulgarian Government had designated the last part of the Rila Mountains as a Special Protection Area. This a...Posted 04/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell