The first Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area (NIA) visitor surveys of 2014 will be taking place in mid-May.

The surveys will build on the data we collected in 2012/13 including who is visiting 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 when the surveys will be repeated.

How can you help?
We are looking for volunteers to help carry out the visitor questionnaires and visitor counts at several sites across Sheffield Moors and Dovestones for the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area (NIA).

The questionnaires will be carried out by a minimum of two volunteers at each site on:

  • Wednesday 14th May
  • Thursday 15th May
  • Saturday 17th May
  • Sunday 18th May

If you are available on any of these days and would like to get involved your help would be much appreciated. Contact Sarah Proctor by e-mail at

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.