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8th Dec 2017 Our stance on re-opening the Woodhead railway

What’s wrong with Grand Northern? We believe it's a good idea but not easy to implement at this time.

We strongly support the aspiration to take lorries off the A628, reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, and alleviate conditions within the villages of Mottram Tintwistle and Hollingworth.

However re-opening Woodhead railway would take away the Trans-Pennine Trail, a fantastic walking/cycling/horse riding route which allows the less mobile to enjoy the National Park.

The Trail is also important for undergrounding of overhead high voltage lines east and west of the Woodhead tunnels. Dunford Bridge is blighted by pylons, the majority of which could be removed within the next few years.

What’s needed

Current investment by the Government on the A628 focuses on providing more road space which would only lead to more congestion, air pollution and vehicle collisions. As the A628 runs through a National Park much greater attention must be given to reducing traffic.

In order to connect Manchester and Sheffield city centres we need improved rail links which are integrated with enhanced public transport within city regions: this means user-friendly, joined-up networks, involving frequent rail services, light rail and bus, all supported by smart, multi-modal ticketing with simplified fares. Committing to the Hope Valley rail upgrade, for which we have been waiting for an announcement for over a year, would be a start.

With these alternatives in place demand for road space should be managed in order to reduce travel by car. Rail freight needs a Liverpool to Hull route, with short sea shipping encouraged for longer journeys.

8th Nov 2017 Green Belt Appeal 2017

If you remember two things after reading this article, we hope they are these. Firstly, there’s no conflict between solving the housing crisis and protecting rural areas – we can and must do both. Secondly, developers can make more profit by building expensive homes than by building affordable ones – and that is the problem at the heart of the crisis.

In Sheffield, as in many other towns and cities, there is no shortage of brownfield land. Some of it is derelict, much more is simply under-used: wasted under acres of surface car-parking around low density retail parks. Re-using this land for new neighbourhoods would not only avoid the city sprawling out into the countryside, but would also breathe new life into run-down areas. Great progress is already being made on this around Kelham Island, but vast areas of the Don Valley from Deepcar all the way to Darnall could benefit from regeneration. The vital missing ingredient to make that happen is public investment: to buy and decontaminate land, reduce flood risk, put in public transport and green spaces, and build homes that people need. As long as the government fails to provide for that investment, we don’t accept that they are genuinely committed to solving the housing crisis.

The only way to solve the housing crisis is to build affordable homes, mainly for social rent. Research by Shelter, the homelessness charity, confirms this. Giving planning permissions to private housebuilders on greenfield sites doesn’t fix the problem, because there’s a natural incentive for them to build large, expensive homes and minimise their contribution to affordability. We’ve seen this happen in many places across Sheffield, and every time a site is developed without building affordable homes, the long-term problem just gets worse.

Most rural land in Sheffield is in the Green Belt, which isn’t just an empty space outside the city, but a vital resource of green spaces bringing the countryside into the city, especially along the river valleys from the Peak District. This has huge benefits for recreation, health, tourism, nature and local food production, and these are all essential for the economy too. CPRE’s Blueprint for Sheffield’s Green Belt sets out our vision for the future: build the right homes in the right places, regenerate urban areas, and enhance our beautiful countryside. It can all be done.

Please support out Green Belt Appeal - click here to donate.

27th Oct 2017 TRO for Jacob's Ladder in Stoney Middleton

We are absolutely delighted by Derbyshire County Council’s decision to consult on a traffic regulation order (TRO) that would ban off-road vehicles from Jacob’s Ladder in Stoney Middleton.

The arguments for a full TRO between the Nook in Stoney Middleton and New Road to Eyam were all made forcefully in DCC’s report. We congratulate Cllr Spencer, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure for making this difficult decision.

But it is the right one. The lane is completely unsuitable for off-roading. The experience of its peace and quiet has long been denied to local residents and National Park visitors due to speeding vehicles.  It was once a cobbled route on which families with small children felt safe. But with trail bikes suddenly appearing round blind bends on a steep hill, and with no refuges on such a narrow passage few dare use it. Damage to the surface of the lane has also been severe leaving tree roots exposed and ruts, adding to the danger for vulnerable users.

With Stoney Middleton Parish Council and Peak District Green Lanes Alliance, with whom we have campaigned for this result, we now look forward to responding to the statutory consultations that are required before such an order can be made.

Here's the DCC announcement www.derbyshire.gov.uk

A very public promise to consult next month! Watch this space!!

13th Oct 2017 Boundary Walk book shortlisted for TGO Award

Our Peak District Boundary Walk book has been shortlisted for the TGO Readers' Book of the Year Award 2017. Please vote for it here www.tgomagazine.co.uk/awards/reader-awards/. Thank you.

20th Sep 2017 New Chair appointed

We're delighted to announce that Chris Heard is the new Chair of Friends of the Peak District and CPRE South Yorkshire.

Chris was brought up in Cornwall before studying Physics in 1970s London. His whole working career has been with Shell, first in the UK, and then internationally. Throughout his working life he has lived on the edge of the Peak District, first in Bollington and then in Hayfield. 

One of his main interests has always been the ‘great outdoors’ - initially fell running, climbing and mountain biking, but more lately confined to walking. Chris retired in April and understands that there are many challenges facing our countryside but is keen to help ensure that its complex and diverse communities can work together for the common good.

“I’m very excited about taking on the role of Chair of the Friends" said Chris, "I appreciate that the Peak District is a living changing environment and I look forward to working with the many people who help protect its special landscapes and the countryside of South Yorkshire, and championing the aims of the CPRE pioneers, which are still valid today".

 

 

 

7th Sep 2017 More trees please

A shared green vision for major roads

Campaign for National Parks has teamed up with 16 other environmental organisations to produce recommendations for the second Road Investment Strategy. We want the Government to prioritise improving the condition of current roads over building new ones.

In National Parks, roads can form an ugly scar across the landscape and they are a source of light and noise pollution. We therefore want the Government to look to demonstrate environmental leadership by considering the landscape in their plans for new and existing infrastructure.

To find out more and to see a copy of the report please click here.

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. 

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.

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.

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