The Peak District has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The same landscapes are rich in a range of minerals that society demands for roads, homes, powerstations and the chemical industry. For instance, the Peak District has the UK's most viable reserves of fluorspar. Have a look at our policies about minerals and quarrying and fluorspar for more information. Quarrying creates scars of rock and bare earth. The dust, noise, machinery and lorries destroy the peace and safety of country lanes and local villages. In recent years we've joined local people in campaigning against quarrying at Backdale, Tearsall and Stanton Moor.
Quarry bad, quarry good?
Quarries can devastate landscapes. However, they also provide the raw materials that our society demands, as well as jobs and income for local people. When operations have finished, quarries can be backfilled and landscaped. We will always campaign against illegal and irresponsible quarrying in the Peak District. In some circumstances, though, we support responsibly run small scale quarrying benefiting the local economy and where we are confident the landscapes will be made good when work is finished. For more details, see our policy about small scale quarrying.
A really major problem in the Peak District is old planning permissions to quarry a variety of minerals. Most of these planning permissions (often called Old Mineral Permissions or OMPs) were granted over 50 years ago, at the time that the Peak District became a national park. They rarely include any need for backfilling or landscaping. Dormant old mineral permissions are the greatest threat but happily the Peak District National Park Authority has taken positive action by serving prohibition orders that remove planning rights without compensation. There are now only a few small sites in the Peak District under threat of damaging re-opening proposals.
Along with the Campaign for National Parks we've lobbied nationally for improved legislation. In 2008 as a result of our joint campaigning the Government finally issued new laws to bring all old mineral permissions under modern planning controls. There's more information about the threat of old mineral permissions in national parks in Ticking timebombs? which we researched and published with the Campaign for National Parks.
We organise a minerals campaign group that meets regularly to share advice on how to face up to quarrying threats in the Peak District. Please contact Andy Tickle to find out more.