In 2013 the National Trust set out an aspirational and overarching vision for the Dark Peak estate’s SSSI moorlands in the High Peak Moors Vision (HPMV). Natural England has worked in partnership with the National Trust for many years and this Long Term Plan (LTP) takes an Outcomes Approach to implementing the Vision on Nether Moor. The ‘High Peak Estate Guiding Principles’ are an integral part of the LTP. The Trust has moved away from the use of burning to manage heather in favour of cutting as part of their Vision.
Nether Moor covers an area of 653ha and has been managed under the North Peak Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme (ESA) and more latterly under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS). Extensive restoration works have been undertaken with gully blocking starting around Madwomans Stones in 2012, with further dams installed at Blackden Brook, with associated cottongrass plug planting and Sphagnum spreading. The Trig point has been restored to reduce the surrounding erosion. Since 2013, in addition to the HLS agreement, the Clough Woodlands Project has been funded through the English Woodlands Grant Scheme (eWGS) to establish clough woodland in selected areas around the edges of the moor.
The Long Term Plan continues the restoration, taking an Outcomes Approach to delivering multiple benefits, with the aim of moving towards good quality, functioning blanket bog, and other moorland habitats, at the heart of the plan. The plan includes outcomes for biodiversity, carbon storage, water quality, flood management, upland bird populations, the grouse shooting interest, farming enterprise, wildfire risk mitigation, landscape and recreation, and cultural heritage. There is no burning on deep peat included in the Plan. Monitoring is an integral part of the plan to inform the adaptive management and assess progression on the trajectory to favourable condition.