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Derbyshire Wildlife Trust launches network to help communities improve County's landscape

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has launched a new initiative aimed at bringing landowners, local communities and project leaders together to inspire and implement a nature-led approach to Nature’s Recovery.

The Wild Peak Network is aimed at anyone wanting to help nature recover using nature-based solutions and rewilding principles in the Wild Peak region, from home gardeners and landowners of any size, to community groups, schools and Parish Councils.

It will allow like-minded people to seek advice, share experiences and learn from others with the aim of supporting as many people and organisations as possible to engage with the Trust’s Wild Peak project and change the County’s landscape for the better.

The network will provide a place for people to share actions that they take away, but will also serve as a hub for useful guidance and resources, collated by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, to support people on their rewilding journey. The Trust will also be hosting regular workshops and knowledge-share events to encourage collaboration between the region’s diverse range of stakeholders.

Other services available through the network include, advice from experienced ecologists on what might be possible on people’s land, information on key funding schemes, assistance with management plans and delivery assistance, long-term partnerships with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and possibilities for keystone species reintroduction projects.

Ruth Pilbeam, Rewilding Project Officer at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said:

“This network will be a huge part of our work towards creating, restoring and connecting wild spaces across the Wild Peak region. People and communities are at the heart of our Wild Peak project and we are already witnessing the power that local people and grassroots initiatives have in establishing rewilding gains in the Peak District.

“We look forward to working closely with more landowners, businesses, local authorities, community groups and passionate individuals to develop a collaborative landscape improvement programme, to protect and restore wildlife, and to form a network that will help grow our resilience for a Wilder Peak.”

Landowner, Andrew Vernon added:

"I'm a small landowner wishing to rewild some High Peak grassland. I thought this would be a relatively simple task however I quickly realised much learning was required and contacted the Wild Peak team at Derbyshire Wildlife for help. Their support has been fundamental to me getting to grips with my project. They have helped me prepare a rewilding plan as well as applications for funding. They have also been particularly helpful with various technical questions and ideas for engaging with the local community. Much work has still to be done, but I am Iooking forward to networking with other Wild Peak participants to share my experience."

Cavendish Golf Club recently got in contact with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to ask them to assess the current wildlife and habitats on its land. Peter Freeman, Past Club Captain and Greens Committee member, explains why the network could benefit others:

“In 1923 the Duke of Devonshire commissioned the creation of a Golf Course, on his own land, to the west of Buxton. The site occupies 55 hectares, but less than half is actually golf course, the remainder being rough land, which has remained largely undisturbed, with little or no use of chemicals, since the 1920s.

“This has created a mosaic of habitats, acid grassland, mixed woodland, scrub and water, of high value and great diversity for wildlife. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust continues to support the Club, providing helpful advice on how we can manage the diversity to promote wildlife corridors within the Wild Peak area, which is even more important since the site is only 600 metres from the Goyt Valley area of SSSI.

“Any landowners or individuals and groups with access to land would benefit from working with the Trust, its bank of resources and now its network filled with hidden experience and expertise.”

Find out more about the network and how to join.


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