RSPB press release on behalf of the Dark Peak Nature Improvement area
The site of a conifer plantation in one of the most popular areas of the Peak District is going to be transformed as part of a conservation initiative to restore declining woodland and improve the landscape for local people and wildlife.
The 83 acre Burbage plantation, owned by Sheffield City Council, was originally planted in the BurbageValley in the early 1970s and is well-known to the many people who climb, walk and relax in the Valley. However, the plantation has not grown well and now needs to be removed as it has reached maturity. The current woodland provides few benefits for wildlife and is in significant decline. Trees are beginning to blow over causing health and safety concerns and a fire risk.
Ted Talbot, Woodland Manager for the City Council, says: “Work on removing the trees is being scheduled to start at the beginning of September and, weather permitting, should be completed by Christmas. Some of the site will then be restored back to moorland, while the rest of the area will be replanted with native oak and birch woodland, benefiting a range of wildlife.”
The project is funded through the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area, a large-scale conservation initiative, which was created to improve, expand and link up existing wildlife-rich areas within the DarkPeak including Burbage Moor.
Ross Frazer, Project Manager for the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area, says: “The Burbage plantation has been part of the landscape of the valley for several decades but it was never meant to be a permanent fixture; it was originally planted as a crop.
“Once the site has been cleared, it will look much like it did 40 years ago but in another 20 to 30 years there will eventually be a new native woodland much like Padley Gorge along the valley, which future generations will be able to enjoy.
“As BurbageValley is such a popular attraction, we have scheduled the removal to take place after the summer holidays and will only be working on weekdays to minimise disturbance.”
Ross Frazer will be in the top car park at BurbageBridge on the following dates to explain how and when the work will be carried out.