Swindon, Wiltshire (PRWEB) November 24, 2010
The National Trust has announced that one of the key sites in the history of the battle to improve access to the countryside, Kinder Scout in the Peak District, is set to get a major £2.5 million restoration over five years, starting in the spring of 2011.
Work carried out by the National Trust, who have owned Kinder Scout since 1982, will see vast areas of the bare and degraded blanket peat landscape restored by gully-blocking, brash spreading and the planting of cotton grass, heather seed, and dwarf shrubs such as bilberry.
To help with the restoration of the site, which is part of the country's national heritage (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl.htm), the project will involve installing a temporary sheep-proof fence to allow the newly planted vegetation the time to become established while keeping open access to Kinder Scout for walkers.
A public consultation will be launched in December to decide on the final location of the temporary fencing and where the access points for walkers should be located*.
Mike Innerdale, general manager for the National Trust in the Peak District said: "Kinder Scout is one of our most iconic landscapes because of its vast open moorland, the diversity of wildlife that calls it home and it was the location for the world famous mass trespass in 1932, a key moment in the campaign for better access to the countryside.
"However, it is also one of the most damaged areas of moorland in the UK and its future is in jeopardy as a result of catastrophic wildfires, a long history of overgrazing, air pollution and the routes that thousands of visitors have taken. We need to take action now with our partners, to save Kinder for future generations."
The benefits of the Kinder Scout restoration (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-global/w-news/w-latest_news/w-news-five-year-restoration-to-give-kinder-scout-a-new-lease-of-life.htm) reach beyond the improvements to the landscape and the wildlife it supports. The amount of carbon stored within blanket peat on Kinder Scout is significant and whilst healthy peatlands take in and store carbon, damaged peatlands emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
In addition, most upland moorland is the source for drinking water and because the moor is so degraded, the exposed peat gets washed away, finding itself in our water supplies which presents huge water quality and treatment problems for our water providers such as United Utilities who collect water in Kinder Reservoir.
Terry Howard, chair of the Kinder advisory group, said: "Whilst there is an ongoing search for other options we may have to accept the need for a fence if no other solution is sufficient. It's important to know that walkers would still have access, attempts will be made to minimise the visual intrusion and the fence would only be temporary until such a time that Kinder flourishes again. This is a short term price to pay for the long term sustainability of Kinder Scout."
Funding for the Kinder restoration project has been secured from the Biffa Awards Scheme, United Utilities, Natural England's Environmental Stewardship scheme and the National Trust.
About The National Trust:
The National Trust was founded in 1895 with access to green spaces and the preservation of places of natural beauty at the heart of its founding principles.
With more than 250,000 hectares of countryside and 710 miles of coastline across England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with the National Trust. The National Trust offers many places to visit including countryside walks (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-visits-walks.htm), days out (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits.htm) and the ability to hire a wedding venue through the National Trust.
Notes to Editors:
*There will be local public meetings about the fencing at Kinder Scout and from 1 December you can also give feedback and find out more information at - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/peakdistrict
Senior Press Officer
The National Trust