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Our Sheffield moors are internationally protected habitats that support important local wildlife. Sadly they are under threat due to increasingly intensive moorland management for grouse shooting.

The future of these incredibly special local places and the biodiversity they support is in jeopardy. Intensive management practices threaten many of this landscape’s most iconic creatures and their habitats for a number of reasons, including:

  • Suspected and confirmed illegal persecution through trapping, poisoning and shooting of birds of prey
  • Increasing persecution of mountain hares, foxes, badgers etc through the excessive use of snares, traps and stink pits
  • Monoculture of heather and degradation of peat bog through extensive burning and drainage

Currently our moors are part of the South Pennine Moors SAC (Special Area of Conservation) and South Pennine Moors Phase 1 SPA (Special Protection Area) – European designations which legally protect these internationally important areas. How will these areas be protected after Brexit and what land management subsidies will be available?

A review by BirdLife International has found that despite these protections, the South Pennine and Peak District Moors are a globally important area for birds “in danger” – one of only two sites identified as such in the UK – meaning the threat level to important upland species there is very high and in need of immediate action to prevent them from being lost.

These issues are now under the spotlight as the UK decides the future of wildlife protection and agricultural subsidy after Brexit. In January 2018 the government published its 25 Year Environment Plan to protect and enhance these landscapes, recognising the value of their natural capital and indicating a move towards paying land managers for public services under a new environmental land management scheme.

Please visit our Evidence and References section for downloads and documents relating to this issue.