The Southern Pennines are part of the Pennine ridge of hills, lying between the Peak District National Park and Yorkshire Dales National Park. This is a landscape of large-scale sweeping moorlands, pastures enclosed by drystone walls, and gritstone settlements contained within narrow valleys. The area contains internationally important mosaics of moorland habitats which support rare birds such as merlin, short-eared owl and twite. The peat soils, including blanket bog, store significant volumes of carbon. With its high rainfall and impervious rocks it is an important area for water supply, with many reservoirs supplying water to nearby conurbations.
The Southern Pennines are also important for recreation due to the extensive open access areas and footpaths, and the sense of escapism they offer, along with the ease of access from large towns. This dramatic landscape has inspired many, such as the Brontes and Ted Hughes. Future challenges for the area include managing the land to reduce downstream flooding, restore blanket bog and improve water quality, and managing increased recreational demand.
36 Southern Pennines (NE323)