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1st Aug 2017 Vacancy - Chair of Trustees

Are you passionate about the countryside?

This is an exciting opportunity to lead a highly regarded local environmental charity, running the trustee board who provide governance and strategic direction for our work.

Friends of the Peak District and CPRE South Yorkshire work to protect and enhance the countryside of South Yorkshire and the Peak District. Our vision is of a living, working countryside, which changes with the times but remains beautiful forever.

You will need to understand the role of trustee boards and have the leadership and management skills, experience and commitment that will help us achieve our objectives.

Further details: 

Informal chat about the role:

Contact either: the Director, Andy Tickle on 0114 279 2655 (Mon-Thurs) or andy@cprepeakandsyorks.org.uk . Or the Vice-Chair, Andy Topley on 07528 871771.

Closing date: Monday 2nd October

This is an unpaid post but reasonable expenses are paid.

1st Aug 2017 TRO for Washgate

We are delighted that the Peak District National Park Authority has confirmed the traffic regulation order for Washgate, banning use of the lane by all motorised vehicles at all times. Lying within the White Peak near Hollinsclough, Washgate provides a tranquil intimate walk that descends steeply on both sides of the River Dove to cross it through a distinctive and charming ford and on a Grade 2 listed pack horse bridge. The ban, which  came into force last week, will allow walkers, horse riders and cyclists to enjoy all that Washgate has to offer.

However, two historic named trials, the Bemrose Trial and the Reliance Cup Trial which use local green lanes and roads, will still be allowed to take place once each year providing their activities can be sustained on this sensitive route. We fully support these exceptions as the trials have been part of the local history of the area – the Bemrose commenced in 1921 and the Reliance Cup in 1911. They therefore precede the designation of the National Park, and are tests of skill rather than of speed and noise. 

21st Jul 2017 Our first bounder!

James Hall is the first man to complete our Peak District Boundary Walk. Congratulations James!!

James completed the whole 190 miles in just 7 days, within weeks of the route being launched. He sums up his experience thus:

For many years I’d toyed with the concept of walking round the Peak District National Park so in May 2017 I was excited to learn that the Friends of the Peak were due to launch their guidebook describing such a route.

Overall, this was a great route and the guidebook excellent. I thought after over 30 years of living in Sheffield that I knew the Peak District very well; I was certainly wrong as this journey took me to many places I’d never even heard of. The parts through places I thought I knew were often on paths new to me.

The mix of sceneries was stimulating and diverse, with roughly equal portions in the White and Dark Peak. The terrain covered varied enormously from tiny rough paths to tarmac roads. It is clearly impossible to have a tarmac-free route, yet stay even vaguely close to the Park Boundary; the route planners have done very well to keep it to a minimum. Anyone with a strong eversion to black-top could always try further to avoid it, but they won’t be walking a boundary route.

At times there were elements of “warts and all”, with the noisy quarries and derelict factories but these are part of the Peak National Park Boundary and I felt their inclusion important to help remind me why we need National Parks and bodies such as the Friends of the Peak to help preserve what is left of our countryside. My style of execution of the route, I know won’t appeal to many; some will do it quicker, but many will choose to enjoy over a much longer time.

James has written a fantastic description of his experience.

Click here to read the whole story
Or see excerpt below...

James Hall with white nancy

First outing: By 04:30 on Tuesday 20th June 2017 - after packing my 25 L rucksack with a few spare cloths, an Alpkit bivvy bag, a silk liner and some food - I was striding up Ringinglow Road to cover the couple of miles from home to the Norfolk Arms pub and join the Boundary Walk. Gentle breeze and high cloud, in contrast to the previous day’s furnace, made for lovely walking conditions.

I was loving exploring endless paths I’d never been on before, seeing views I’d not seen before all aided by a very well written guidebook with excellent 1:25,000 map inserts. I had taken standard maps with me but they stayed in my rucksack the whole time.

On Thursday 22nd June I passed through Lyme Park and eventually into Whaley Bridge and to nice cafe. Two buses and two hours later I was back home, washed and enjoying a deep siesta in the comfort of my own bed.

Second outing: Thursday 6th July 2017 I wandered through Ecclesall Woods to Dore Station for the 07:20 train to Chinley. A quick café stop in Whaley Bridge and off towards the Goyt Valley. I’d cycled round the Goyt a couple of times but enjoyed exploring it in more detail on foot. Up and over the hot sunny moors then down into Buxton, the official start and finish of the Boundary Walk.

My chum, who lives near Chapel, picked me up around 18:00 from the bottom of the Rushup Edge Road (where the Boundary Walk crosses) on his way home from work in Sheffield. It felt like cheating to accept a luxurious bed for the night and not be climbing into a bivvy bag somewhere along the path. Looking on the map it was a strange day as the flying crow’s distance from start to finish was only about 4 miles, but with the large navigation of the Peak Boundary it had been about 25 plodding man’s miles.

Friday 7th July 2017 By 06:10 I’d been dropped off where the walk the day before had ended. I only planned to get to Glossop, about 15 miles, as I was keen to be back home in Sheffield by early afternoon. Pleasant field paths then joined the rather eroded Pennine Bridleway. A cool morning meant nice progress and I passed through Hayfield as folk were getting up and heading to work or school. Nice cycle path down the Sett Valley then steep climbs to the airy viewpoint of Lantern Pike, where I ate a second breakfast of jam butties. This was followed by a gentle descent into Rowarth. The Little Mill Pub in Rowarth needs a special mention as it wasn’t yet open but the landlord made me a cup of tea “on the house”. The rooms in the railway carriage behind looked like they would make for a lovely stop-over.

Nice paths gradually took me up onto the lovely ridge of Cown Edge and then after a steep descent over Whiteley Nab and into the outskirts of Glossop around 11:30am

Third outing

Wednesday 12th July 2017 A short taxi ride from home dropped me at on the A57, Snake Pass Road at the edge of Crosspool, Sheffield where I hit lucky with a hitch to Glossop. The Boundary Walk route heading North revealed a much more attractive Glossop than one sees from the car. Pleasant fields, reservoirs and villages soon became the themes of the day.

Thursday 13th July 2017 I don’t know the exact time I woke teeth clatteringly cold, but as the gibbous moon had risen it must have been around 01:00. The wind had picked up to a stiff breeze and with a mainly clear sky the temperature had plummeted. With no further clothes to put on I realised I really wasn’t suitably equipped (note to self: take a sleeping bag next time). The only option was to get up and walk.

Up and over the eternally lorry laden Woodhead pass and through the confusing (in the dark) woods to Langsett. Through the quaint gritstone villages of Bolsterstone and a just waking up Ewden, then up and down to Bradfield for 08:00. Thankfully the lovely shop cum post-office cum café in Low Bradfield had just opened so I was able to indulge in two pints of tea, a variety of cakes and sausage rolls.

Very refreshed and inspired that I was now starting the final guidebook section of this great walk I climbed out of Bradfield, initially on roads but then through a lovely the woodland valley of Royds Clough. The weather had at last remembered which month it was and being bit too cold was replaced by being a bit too hot. Over Manchester Road and through more lovely woodland along Wyming Brook, then a couple of mainly road miles to Ringinglow by noon, where outing number one had started from a few weeks back. Half an hour later I’d wandered home and was enjoying a nice cold beer with my sore feet in a bucket of cold water.

James Hall, July 2017

9th May 2017 CNP publish manifesto for next Government

We're calling on all political parties to commit to investing in our beautiful National Parks for the long-term prosperity and health of our nation.

National Parks are inspiring and breathtaking areas of our country. They are important assets to the nation which the next Government must seek to protect and enhance.

Ahead of the June election, we are calling on all the political parties to commit to

Strengthening national protections

Our National Parks are living, working landscapes and we want communities in these areas to thrive. The delivery of appropriate sustainable development, particularly affordable housing that meets local need, will be central to achieving that. Inappropriate development in and close to the boundary of our National Parks, however, threatens the special qualities of these areas and must be prevented. There should, therefore, be no further relaxation of the planning system through, for example, new or extended permitted development rights or changes to national planning policy.

CNP's recent report, National Parks: Planning for the Future, published in partnership with National Trust and Campaign to Protect Rural England, sets out how planning protections for our National Parks need to be strengthened and effectively enforced to prevent damaging development. In line with the recommendations within the report, CNP are asking all political parties to commit to setting out stronger protections for National Parks within a long term strategy for the environment.

Sufficient levels of resources

The National Parks are important national assets and they should be properly valued by the Government and supported financially. Public expenditure on National Parks in England equates to less than £1 per year per head of population. Due to the smaller population it is slightly more per head in Wales. But in light of the public benefits these areas provide this money is an important investment. National Parks need a fair share of resources if they are to continue providing these public benefits.

Past funding cuts led to the closure of information centres, an end to much of the work to keep rights of way open and a halt to much National Park Authority work on climate change, flood defence and conservation. We want the Authorities to be working to improve and enhance the National Parks so, among other things, they are richer in biodiversity, better at capturing carbon and better able to reduce flood risk. This needs to be properly resourced. The sustainability of funding is also critical. We ask all parties, therefore, to commit to protecting National Park budgets for the next five years.

Increasing sustainable access

National Parks were created for the benefit of the nation so everyone should have an opportunity to visit them. Nationally, a quarter of households do not have access to a car and rely on public transport for most of their journeys. And there has long been an over reliance on the use of private cars by visitors to access and get around the National Parks. Campaign for National Parks wants to make sure that the National Parks really are for everyone, regardless of whether or not they own a car. We also want to make sure that the high quality environment in National Parks continues to be protected and enhanced for future generations to enjoy by promoting more sustainable access to and within the Parks.

To make the National Parks more accessible by sustainable transport, CNP will ask all political parties to commit to requiring relevant local transport plans to consider and address the needs of visitors to National Parks.

Click here to download our full manifesto.

16th Mar 2017 A628 trans-Pennine upgrade consultation

There is currently a consultation on the upgrade to the A628 Trans-Pennine corridor until 10th April

Full details can be found here: https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/trans-pennine-upgrade-programme/

The proposals consist of a dual carriageway bypass of Mottram only, a link road off the bypass to Glossop (with two potential routes identified), climbing lanes in the Peak Park east of Woodhead reservoir and safety measures, and completion of dualling of A61 in South Yorkshire.  These measures would not relieve Hollingworth, Tintwistle, the Longdendale Valley and Gallows Moss or the South Yorkshire villages of through traffic. As was shown through the public inquiry into the Mottram Tintwistle Bypass in 2007, once the bottleneck at Mottram crossroads is removed there would be a substantial increase in new traffic on the A628, some diverting off the M62, and on the A57 through Glossop.

We don't support the proposed improvements to the A628 (T) corridor for a number of reasons. Not least because new roads fill up with traffic within a few years and congested conditions return with adverse impacts on local communities and the countryside.

We fully supports the need to relieve local communities near the A628 Woodhead trunk route of the hugely negative impacts of traffic; impacts which are created by a mix of mainly locally generated car traffic and a minority of HGV through-traffic. However a solution must be found which both avoids new infrastructure within the Park or outside in its setting, and removes traffic off the A628 (T) corridor. This would include re-routing heavy lorries onto the motorway network (M1/M62/M60/M6/A50) around the Peak District, greater travel choices for local journeys with improved bus and rail services, slower speeds along the whole route and improved walking and cycling facilities. Together these would free up road space for through traffic, reduce congestion, and improve air quality and safety. They also offer substantial advantages over road building as they are inexpensive, could be applied immediately while being tested for their efficacy. If they failed to be effective, other measures could then be considered.

15th Mar 2017 Last bite at Stanton Moor

Last week, the National Park Authority approved what will hopefully be the last quarry permission in the Stanton Moor area, with the support of the Friends.

Over the past ten years or so, quarry company Blockstone had been pushing for an extension to their New Pilhough Quarry (NPQ). We had objected to all previous proposals on the grounds they were inequitable as the tonnage of stone to be extracted at NPQ was not balanced by the amount of reserves they offered to 'trade in' at Stanton Moor Quarry, which forms part of the Scheduled Monument.

Finally Blockstone reduced extraction to 50,000 tonnes (their first application was for more than five times that amount!) which, on balance, we found acceptable.

We are very pleased that, working closely with the local community, our joint 'pester' power meant a solution could be found and that the end of quarrying in this very special area of the Peak is nigh.

8th Feb 2017 Emergency restriction order to protect Holinsclough Rakes

We are delighted that Staffordshire County Council has put in place the first steps towards managing Hollinsclough Rakes – an emergency restriction order preventing anyone from using Limer and Swan Rakes.

These idyllic lanes in the Staffordshire Moorlands District of the Peak National Park were once a packhorse route for the trade of salt. They are now reduced to a rock scramble in places with horse riders, cyclists and walkers unable to pass.

Limer Rake in particular is in terrible state of disrepair and is unsafe for all users. Although water has played a part, their destruction is largely as a result of off-roaders destroying the surface and tearing down adjacent walls to try to get purchase. In addition, off roaders have been illegally using fields to exit the lane, creating disturbance for Hollinsclough residents during the night and disrupting farm business.

We urge Staffordshire County Council to continue to protect both Rakes by making a temporary traffic regulation order. This will give the Council time to prepare an order to ban all motorised vehicles permanently. Nothing less will do as the lane has been ravaged by their use which cannot be sustained.

Once the lane is protected, consideration should be given as to how to repair the severe damage in a manner that reflects the history of the lane.

1st Feb 2017 28th Feb 2017 Vote for us to win Bags of Help initiative in Sheffield

Our fantastic Peak District Boundary Walk project has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative! Vote for us to win the top prize in stores in Sheffield from 1-25 February!

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant. Our beautiful 192 mile long distance walk following the stunning scenery around the Peak District National Park boundary is one of the groups on the shortlist.

Please vote in store as many times as you can in February!

Voting is open in stores from 1 to 25 February. Customers will cast their vote using tokens given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £25 million to more than 3,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Here's the list of stores taking part in the voting:

ECCLESALL METRO S11 8PN
FULWOOD EXP   S10 3QA
ABBEYDALE     S7 2QB
SOUTHEY S5 7HF
SHARROW LANE EXP      S11 8AN
BEIGHTON EXP  S20 1EA
CROSSPOOL GARAGE      S10 5DS
SHEFFIELD INFIRMARY     S6 3BU
TOTLEY SHEFFIELD EXP    S17 3LP
KELHAM ISLAND EXP       S3 8RA
BARNSLY EXP   S5 7AE
EDWRD ST EXP  S3 7BY
BROADFLD RD EXP   S7 1FS
BIRL RD EXP   S12 4WG
SAVIL EXTRA   S4 7UD
SAVIL EXTRA   S4 7UD
DYKES H EXP   S6 4EX
WEST ST MET   S1 4GB
CHURCH EXP    S1 1HA
BRMHILL EXP   S10 1BP
EYRE LANE EXP S1 2NP

To check the location of any of the above stores, please go to the website here: www.tesco.com/store-locator/uk/

13th Jan 2017 Friends object to development in Green Belt

Fletchers Paper Mill, Chew Valley Road, Greenfield. An allocation in Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework 2016

The Friends are objecting to a proposed major housing and tourist development right against the boundary of the Peak District National Park in Greenfield, Oldham. Greater Manchester claims that one hundred holiday lodges and 120 executive dwellings will create a gateway to the National Park on the disused Fletcher paper mill site below Dovestone reservoir.

Less than half of the site is the old mill buildings, and therefore brownfield land, but Greater Manchester is proposing in its draft Spatial Framework to more than double the size of the development by taking green field, also Green Belt, land.  This would include land to the west down river of the mill and below the dam wall.

Such a sprawling development would devastate the setting of this beautiful approach to the National Park, detracting from its landscape, and the sense of remoteness and tranquillity it provides. It also does not preserve or enhance the heritage of the mill and is a wholly inappropriate use of the Green Belt.

Instead we would support development sensitive to the local environment which would make best use of the old mill buildings. If the site is progressed the Friends hope something more innovative such as a community-led hydro scheme, with eco-housing/selfbuild/micro-businesses on the mill site could be included and that the green field part of the site is retained as green space for local residents and visitors.

See previous article in the Saddleworth Independent: http://saddind.co.uk/fletchers-mill-in-greenfield-targeted-as-tourist-hotspot/

17th Nov 2016 Help us stop Fracking!

We have been fighting quarrying since the 1920s. We were delighted by the success at Backdale Quarry: the fight to stop the illegal and hugely damaging quarrying was one of the biggest in our 90 year history and a huge drain on our resources.

The latest threat of mineral extraction is much more serious. At a time when we need to cut down carbon emissions and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, companies are planning to tear up our beautiful local countryside to extract shale gas by ‘fracking’. 

This is because the Government has reversed its promise not to allow fracking under our National Parks, despite fears over water and air pollution, the dangers of increased lorry traffic on narrow country roads, the noise and visual impact, and the fact that shale gas is a fossil fuel which will contribute to climate change. To avert this, we are planning to work with local communities to form a ‘no-frack’ cordon around the Peak.

Fighting Backdale took 13 years of persistent campaigning, taking a lead role in public inquiries, seeing the case through the highest Courts and getting legislation amended. This was just one part of the essential work we do every single day to protect the Peak District year after year.

Fracking now threatens the beauty and tranquillity of our local countryside, and we need your help to make sure it doesn’t happen. If you love the Peak District and its surrounding landscapes, please help us protect it from fracking.

Please click here to donate to our 'No Fracking' appeal today.

 

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