Restoring Roaches Footpaths, UK

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust aims to protect and enhance the wildlife and wild places of Staffordshire and to promote understanding, enjoyment and involvement in the natural world.

The 400 hectare Roaches Estate in the Peak District National Park is internationally important for its upland wildlife (including red grouse and peregrine) and its rock climbing. It draws over 100,000 visitors, mainly walkers and climbers, and is renowned as a great place for first time climbers and those who are more experienced. However, the area’s popularity has left huge erosion scars on the landscape, disturbing the surrounding habitat as visitors cut new paths to avoid treacherous conditions. Not only are these scars ugly, the loss of habitat is affecting the wildlife population and threatens the water quality of nearby Tittesworth reservoir which provides much of the local drinking water. This project will totally reverse the damage, restoring 20km of paths using traditional footpath techniques which will minimise future maintenance. Drainage will be improved and areas re-landscaped to allow areas to recover.

The Update

Progress was quick to be made on this project.  By May 2015, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust already reported that in February and March, both the work on the Princesses Steps section of path and the ‘Top of the Princess’ Steps’ path was carried out.  Over 330 metres of severely eroded path was improved.  Large stones were placed to deter walkers from wandering off the new path.  Habitats next to the new path have been restored and will be protected as the new paths encourage people to keep of these fragile areas.

Image: Climbers' Paradise. Image credit: Kevin Palmer