Dove Stone RSPB reserve, view showing reservoir and surrounding hills, March 2011

Dark Peak

Dark Peak

Situated in the northern reaches of the Peak District, the Dark Peak is characterised by remote, peat-dominated upland moors and rocky gritstone crags. It is an awe-inspiring landscape which is home to a range of upland plants and animals. 

It is also extremely popular with climbers, walkers and cyclists; a getaway for the people of Greater Manchester, Sheffield and surrounding towns to take a break from the urban grind. 

Although there is some amazing wildlife in the area, the moorland has lost much of its natural moss-rich vegetation, which is now only found in small isolated pockets. This is because much of the peatland habitat, known as blanket bog, has been damaged by industrial pollution, overgrazing and burning.

This has led to erosion, with peat washing into streams and reservoirs. Blanket bog is globally rare and vital as a carbon store, water source and home for wildlife. 

As part of the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area, we are working with a range of partners to restore these habitats and give nature a home across the Dark Peak. By restoring blanket bog, flower-rich grassland, heath, scrub and woodlands, we are helping to lock up carbon and improve water quality.

We are also working to improve access to the Dark Peak so everyone can enjoy even more of the dramatic landscape.


PDF, 1.22M. Date: 5 September 2014

Futurescapes - Dark Peak

Explore the area

Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us. 

Person jogging at Dove Stone RSPB reserve, March 2011
Dove Stone Reserve

Nearby reserves

Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape is:

Dove Stone

A landscape which will take your breath away. Towering hills, sheer rock faces, swathes of open moorland, a picturesque reservoir - that's Dove Stone, the northern gateway to the Peak District National Park.

Eastern Moors

A landscape with lots to see and do, the Eastern Moors is almost entirely open access with a network of bridleways and footpaths and internationally-renowned climbing edges.

Dove Stone RSPB reserve, view showing reservoir and surrounding hills, March 2011
Dove Stone

Our partners

Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Dark Peak. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:


Saving special places