When it was first reported that the plantation in Burbage Valley was to be felled, some people were uneasy at the prospect of a much-loved landscape undergoing such radical change. The rationale behind the scheme was sound, the environmental benefits obvious but meddling with one of the Peak’s finest views was always going to stir up emotions.
Thankfully, now the work is well under way, its easy to see that the end product will be a massive improvement. Thanks to a dry September the work has proceeded quickly and the impact on the ground has been minimal. The Great Britain plantation is now reduced to the England and parts of Scotland plantation and most of the home counties, Lancashire and the Lake District have gone.
Remarkably, to ensure that the impact on fragile soils was minimised, the timber from the Wales section, (the east bank of Burbage Brook) has been airlifted out and, according to SCC Woodlands Officers, Rowan and Silver Birch saplings are already taking advantage of the influx of light to grow apace.
It’s going to be a few years before we see the full benefit of this work, but SCC, the National Trust and the PDNPA should be congratulated for taking a brave decision.