A huge thank you to all the volunteers, staff and students that braved the weather to help us carry out winter visitor surveys for the Dark Peak NIA.

Over five days, 26 volunteers, including Moors for the Future Partnership and National Trust volunteers, PDNPA Rangers and Sheffield County Council Trees and Woodland team, Kathy Clarke (Visitor Services Manager, Eastern Moors Partnership), Debbie Coldwell (University of Sheffield) and 2 Moors for the Future members of staff managed to complete an astounding 211 questionnaires – an amazing effort given the very wintery conditions! We will be repeating the surveys in May so there will be plenty of opportunity for volunteers to join us then.

What does it involve?
We need volunteers help us carry out surveys of visitors to the Sheffield Moors for the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area.

If you're free on the weekend of 2nd/3rd February or 9th/10th February and would like to help out - contact Sarah Proctor by e-mail at Sarah.Proctor@peakdistrict.gov.uk

In 2012 we carried out 220 visitor surveys across 6 sites over a 4 day period on Sheffield Moors for the Dark Peak NIA. The surveys were developed in collaboration with Dr Karl Evans of the University of Sheffield and are part of ongoing monitoring that will be continue until 2015.

Thanks to our brilliant team of volunteers who helped out last year and all the visitors who gave up a few minutes of their valuable leisure time to answer questions.

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 with funding of £7.5 million has been established, 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. http://www.naturalengland.org.uk