Campaigners from the Save Longstone Edge Group (SLEG) joined Friends of the Peak District members for a walk and picnic on Longstone Edge on Sunday, to celebrate the end of a long and hard-fought campaign to protect this beautiful part of the Peak District from illegal and hugely damaging quarrying.
The celebration brought together members of the nearby communities and folk from far afield, including Julian Tippett, former secretary of SLEG who now lives in Devon, who called the event “A very fitting wrapping up of the campaign”.
Following a public inquiry held in January this year, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government upheld an order to remove the planning permission which covered nearly 140 hectares of Longstone Edge, including the infamous Backdale Quarry.
Instead of being a large and unsightly gash in the landscape, the area which was saved is now being restored and nature is beginning to cover over the extensive damage caused by many years of mineral and limestone extraction and a new newt pond has been created by the current landowner, Mr Peter Hunt.
The group toasted their success in a summit picnic on top of Hassop Common, where they were joined by the owner of the Hassop Estate, Henry Stephenson, a long term supporter of the SLEG campaign. Tributes were also paid to the staff and members of the Peak District National Park Authority for their commitment to using every avenue to stop the damage, including fighting a long legal battle through the Courts.