The second round of 2014 Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area (NIA) visitor surveys took place in early September.

A dedicated team of volunteers continues working despite the conditions, which included clouds of midges, to carry out the surveys and bring the total number of completed questionnaires to over 1,100.

These surveys build on the data collected in 2012/13. Our questionnaires asked who is visiting our green spaces and why, what benefits people gain from their visits, what they think of the natural environment they are visiting and where they have travelled from. 

The information will be used by the Dark Peak NIA to gauge visitor attitudes and awareness of green spaces, biodiversity and related conservation activities and how these change between 2012 and 2015 as the surveys are repeated.

The surveys will be repeated in December.

What is the Dark Peak NIA?
The Dark Peak NIA includes nine partners: the RSPB, National Trust, Peak District National Park Authority, United Utilities, British Mountaineering Council, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Wildlife Trust, Moors for the Future Partnership and Natural England.

The Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) Programme has been established with funding of £7.5 million,  as announced by Defra in the Natural Environment White Paper (2011). NIAs are large, discrete areas that will deliver a step change in nature conservation, where a local partnership has a shared vision for their natural environment.

With the support of Natural England, Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission, the partnership will plan and deliver significant improvements for wildlife and people through the sustainable use of natural resources, restoring and creating wildlife habitats, connecting local sites and joining up local action.