We are so fortunate here in the Moorlands to be home to such beautiful countryside that attracts both locals and visitors from further afield. One very special area, that is a landmark of the Peak District and my week 17’s Reason to Visit the Moorlands, is the fabulous Roaches.
The Roaches – or Roches – have been an iconic part of the Peak District since the National Park was founded. Home to the Winking Man rock formation on Ramshaw Rocks and at one time a group of wild wallabies, the limestone outcrops have been the dramatic backdrop to films and TV shows and have inspired artists for centuries.
As well as being a popular place for its fantastic views, The Roaches is an amazing place for wildlife, which is one of the reasons that I supported the National Park’s transfer of the management to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in 2013. The area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as forming part of the South Pennine Moor Special Area for Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area and is protected both nationally and internationally for its wildlife and rare wild habitats.
The unique wildlife includes peregrine falcons, which often breed on the rocky ridges, and many specialist breeding and wintering birds such as red grouse, tree pipit and curlew.
Sadly in 2018 we had the devastating fire and since then, the Trust has been working hard to restore the peatland area that was destroyed. Open fires or barbecues on the reserve are now banned, with fines for anyone breaking the law and this winter will see further works to rewet the peat by blocking drainage ditches and thousands more sphagnum moss plug plants will be planted.
The Roaches and our beautiful countryside – such a great Reason to Visit the Moorlands!