Houndkirk Moor, in the eastern Peak District moors is being restored to its former glory, thanks to funding by Natural England, Sheffield City Council and the National Grid. The moor, part of the Eastern Peak District Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation and the Peak District Moors Special Protection Area, is undergoing restoration following extensive damage to the area.
Highly valued on both a national and international scale, the landscape is home to a variety of heathland habitats and their associated birds and animals. The moor is crossed by Houndkirk Road, a Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) and a high pressure gas main. Years of damage, as a result of road users driving off the BOAT route, has meant that Natural England, that are spearheading the project, Sheffield City Council, that own the land, and National Grid, that will oversee work around the gas pipeline, will work together to repair the damage. The Moors for the Future partnership is managing the work on the moor which involves fencing, re-profiling the eroded gullies and re-seeding the moorland habitats and the ground above the high pressure gas main. Heather seed from the adjacent moors is being used to reseed the soil and peat.
South Yorkshire Police is monitoring the area whilst restoration takes place and the Peak District National Park is working towards raising public awareness of the site and the correct legal use of the BOAT to ensure that such damage will not be repeated. Felicité Dodd, Natural England Land Management and Conservation Adviser said, 'Houndkirk Moor is a very popular part of the Peak District and this joint venture will demonstrate that these moorlands are integral to its landscape. We do not want to see the enjoyment of the moor by the majority, spoilt by the actions of a minority.' Land Rover Owner magazine urges that only responsible use be made of the BOAT, fundamental to which is staying on the BOAT track itself.