Trees set for the chop in restoration of historic Peak District landscape

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A POPULAR Peak District walking destination is set to be closed off while work begins to restore its historic landscape.

The 83-acre conifer plantation at Burbage Valley, which sits eight miles to the west of Sheffield city centre, is set to be chopped down to make way for a new ‘wet woodland’ containing oak trees.

The project is part of the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area and is designed to create a more natural environment which can support conservation, unlike the existing plantation. Trees were first planted as a crop around 40 years ago but Sheffield Council, which owns the former Iron Age fort, say bad management has led to the site becoming a fire hazard.

Ted Talbot, the National Trust’s Countryside Manager for the Peak District, said: “The National Trust is pleased to see that the sensitive removal of the conifer plantation in the upper Burbage Valley is going to happen under the expert eye of Sheffield Council’s woodlands team.

“As the custodians of the moorland around the plantation and the ever-popular Longshaw Estate and Padley Gorge, we know how much better the new native woodland will be in this area, for both people and wildlife.

“The restoration will reduce the current fire risks to the surrounding moors.”

Closures will be in place during weekdays from Monday while work on a blanket bog, heathland, grassland, woodland and recreation area is carried out.

A new access route will be available for ramblers when upon its completion next March.