Land based products & the Green Economy
In addition to the environmental services provided by moorland ecosystems they also provide the opportunity to farm, harvest and mine a variety of land based products including:
- food (predominantly sheep),
- timber, wood fuel, charcoal,
- renewable energy (primarily wind and hydrological power),
- rock quarrying and mineral extraction (including limestone (e.g. Hope Cement Works (below right)), shale, gritstone, lead, fluorspar (Blue John), barite, copper and coal).
Identifying and mapping the provision of land based products relevant to today’s society, and recognising the capacity to increase these service provisions through restoration whilst minimising conflicts between services, sites and user groups (working towards maximum multiple benefits), was initially undertaken, as a scoping study, and presented in a report on Ecosystem Services of Peat - Phase 1 (Defra, 2009 ).
Whilst not necessarily producing harvestable timber, reforesting cloughs on shallow peat soils with native, deciduous woodland could potentially provide multiple benefits in terms of preventing soil erosion, positively influencing local hydrology and biochemical cycles and providing wildlife habitat and economic benefits through tourism - possibly presenting a future conservation and research direction.
The Green Economy
Businesses, organisations and charities that are working towards sustainable development and aiming to reduce negative environmental impacts are all contributing to building the local Green Economy of the Peak District. We will be assessing the impact of restoration activities on the local green economy as part of the new Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area (NIA) monitoring programme.