Wildlife Trust celebrates 10 years of management at the iconic Roaches


By Sarah Davison, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

On May 1st 2013, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust began its 125-year lease of the Roaches, a magnificent 975-acre area on the edge of the Peak District National Park. 

The Roaches. Photo: Kevin Palmer.
Common Cottongrass, early morning on The Roaches, Peak District National Park, Staffordshire. Photo: Kevin Palmer.

The opportunity to manage the site was unmissable. The charity remains devoted to restoring The Roaches, ensuring that it is both a fantastic place to visit and a safe haven for wildlife.

Over the last 10 years so much work has been done to protect the site’s unique and wonderful wildlife, with thousands of hours of help from local volunteers and interested groups. Many of the volunteers who help at the site each week have been doing so for years, and some have been helping since the Trust began caring for the site back in 2013.

Highlights include the restoration of over 2,500 metres of pathways, the rebuilding of 1,500 metres of stone wall, installation of 125 metres of boardwalk and the repair and replacement of 2,000 metres of fencing. Further work has been completed to restore the rare and precious blanket bog habitat: 600 dams have been installed, to hold back water and rewet the peat, and over 100,000 sphagnum moss plugs planted. This species is another essential element in creating a healthy, carbon capturing peat bog.

restoration of over 2,500 metres of pathways at The Roaches
Restoration of pathways at The Roaches. Photo: Christine Harding.

Jon Rowe, Senior Land Manager for the area, said: “The Roaches is a special landscape which is well loved by thousands of people, both local and those who visit from outside the area. 

“We’re incredibly lucky to care for such a unique place, and we’re very grateful to have some really committed volunteers who selflessly give up their time to help with whatever practical tasks need doing.

“Striking a balance to make sure people can access this incredible place, but also protecting the delicate habitats can be challenging. We’ve carried out some intensive work to strengthen the trig point and main pathways, so many more people can enjoy visiting for years to come while keeping erosion of the peat to a minimum.

“Caring for this special place costs a lot, so if you love the Roaches you could become a SWT member. You’ll get an exclusive magazine, plus info on exclusive walks and talks: to join visit www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk

The area supports many special breeding and wintering birds such as curlew, red grouse and tree pipit. It is protected both nationally and internationally for its wildlife and rare habitats. Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), it forms part of the South Pennine Moor Special Area for Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area. The Roaches consists of numerous internationally important habitats including blanket bog and upland moorland.

Scroll to Top