Skip to content

Burbage Valley conservation work

Statement of Support from the Peak District National Park Authority

'The moorlands and native oak woods of the eastern Peak District moors are of outstanding landscape and wildlife value, and indeed are recognised as of international importance by their designation as a Special Area of Conservation.  The national importance of the cultural heritage is recognised by the designation of many archaeological remains as Scheduled Monuments. 

The existing conifer plantation, sitting in the heart of Hathersage/Burbage Moor, sits very uncomfortably as an artificial feature in this landscape and has an adverse effect on the wildlife and cultural heritage of this and the surrounding area.  The National Park Authority strongly welcomes the proposed restoration of the site to moorland and native oak wood and wet woodland. 

The proposals are very much in line with, and help forward the objectives of the Landscape Strategy, Cultural Heritage Strategy and the Biodiversity Action Plan for the National Park and we are confident that the project will significantly enhance this area for current and future generations to enjoy.'

Rhodri Thomas
Natural Environment Team Manager
Peak District National Park Authority


Statement of Support from Natural England

Burbage is a much loved upland landscape, with its gritstone edges and long, uninterrupted views.  It is also an area with a rich cultural heritage.

We are pleased to support the Dark Peak NIA, and specifically the Burbage tree removal project, which will provide important landscape improvements and continued recreational access through its extensive open access areas and footpaths.  The area has a wonderful sense of tranquillity and escapism that people in nearby cities and large towns draw great benefit from.

The removal of conifers will also result in the creation of over 14 ha of upland oak woodland, while maintaining wet flushes and other interesting habitats.  It provides a great opportunity to restore ca. 8 ha of European Dry Heath habitat on areas where no tree planting is proposed.  The open nature of new woodland planting will also allow natural regeneration of dry heath vegetation between the trees, which will be great for a variety of upland wildlife. 

European Dry Heath and Old Sessile Oak woods are both important parts of the South Pennine Moors Special Conservation Area, which is a designated site of European importance.  Burbage presents a great example of how through partnership working we can deliver both nature conservation and a much wider range of public benefits hand in hand.

Mike Burke
Manager, Peak District and Sustainable Development
East Midlands Area Team
Natural England


About the work

Work on the complete scheme should be completed by the end of March 2015.  The work will only be carried out during the week to reduce the amount of disturbance to the majority of the National Park’s visitors at weekends.

The conifer plantation was planted in the early 1970’s as a crop, but it has not been managed effectively and has resulted in a lot of trees blowing over and they now represent a fire risk.

By replanting with native broadleaf species, encouraging natural regeneration and restoring heathland, it is intended to increase the wildlife, improve the landscape and encourage enjoyment for all.  The project will bring the site back into positive conservation management in line with the surrounding heathland, currently managed by the National Trust.

The project forms part of the larger Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area (NIA); one of 12 nationally grant funded schemes.  It has five broad objectives involving blanket bog, heathland, grassland, woodland and access and recreation. 


The Dark Peak NIA

The Dark Peak NIA is a partnership and has the support of 10 organisations with a strong track record of delivery for people and wildlife, private business and statutory bodies, local authorities and user representative groups as well as the voluntary sector. 

These include:

Environmental Impact Assessment and Ecological Survey


Contact details

Dave O'Hara
Dove Stone Site Manager

Telephone: 01457 819888


Dove Stone Smithy Yard

  • Modified: Aug 1, 2016 8:56:50 AM