Breathtaking views, amazing wildlife - the gateway to Staffordshire’s Peak District
On May 1 2013, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will begin its 125-year lease of the Roaches, a magnificent 975 acre landscape on the edge of the Peak District National Park.
As the new managers, we promise to:
- Promote enjoyment and understanding of the Roaches and ensure it is a fantastic place to visit
- Protect its unique and wonderful wildlife.
- Offer opportunities for everyone to get involved
Why is the Roaches so special?
Whether you’re an eager climber, an enthusiastic walker or a keen naturalist, the Roaches offers something for everyone. Its magnificent soaring rock faces and wild, heather-covered hillsides draw tens of thousands of visitors each year, and make it one of Staffordshire’s most photographed landscapes.
The Roaches is popular with walkers and climbers. Photos c Peak District National Park Authority
As well as being a popular place for recreation, the Roaches is an amazing place for wildlife. In fact, the area is protected both nationally and internationally for its wildlife and rare wild habitats. Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and forming 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. There are also many specialist breeding and wintering birds such as curlew, red grouse and tree pipit.
Our plans for 2013
The Trust will be continuing the excellent work of the Peak District National Park Authority, ensuring that the Roaches is a fantastic place to visit and a place where wildlife thrives.
Over the next six months, we will be:
- Getting to know the Roaches - learning as much as we can about this 975-acre estate
- Getting to know you - we’ll be out and about talking to visitors and neighbours
- Putting together a plan for footpath restoration - we’ll be planning a rolling yearly programme of improvement based on priority
- Working on a 10-year-managment plan - through visitor surveys and consultation events you’ll have the opportunity to shape the management of the Roaches
- Raising funds - we’ve already earmarked funds for certain work, but with your help we can do even more
Our new Roaches warden will also be establishing two volunteer groups to carry out essential conservation work and improve visitor access on the Roaches. To register your interest or find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
During your visit
For breathtaking panoramic views, climb the stone steps to the left of the stone cottage built into the hillside (Rockhall Cottage or the Don Whillans Memorial Hut), and walk along the rocky ridge. After a about half a mile you’ll reach Doxey Pool, a tranquil but allegedly haunted pool that is reputed to be home to a mermaid who lures travellers to a watery grave! Alternatively, you could explore the less visited northern end of the estate, with its sheltered woodlands and the stunning rocky chasm known as Lud’s Church. To download a free walk around the northern end of the estate from the Trust’s members’ magazine, click here.
Look out for peregrines during a visit to the Roaches. Photo c Steve Waterhouse
Keep an eye out for the resident peregrines as you explore. These large falcons are one of the fastest birds on the planet - reaching speeds of up to 124mph as they dive for their prey. They nest on the craggy rock ledges of the estate, and in April, May and June the Trust and the Peak District National Park Authority will be giving visitors the chance to get a close up view of the nesting birds with the help of the national park rangers and local volunteers.
Other species to look out for include red grouse,a russet red game bird whose chuckling call ripples out across the landscape, and green hairstreak butterflies.
Look out for red grouse and green hairstreak butterflies during your visit Photos c Tom Marshall and Scott Petrek
Love the Roaches? Want to ...
Sign up to receive regular FREE email updates about the Trust’s work on The Roaches by emailing email@example.com with ‘Roaches updates’ in the subject box.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@StaffsWildlife) - you’ll be the first to find out about events, projects and Peregrine Watch.
Learn new skills, meet people, get fit and enjoy the outdoors by joining our conservation volunteer group. To register your interest or find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at a conservation or a family event - visit www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk and check out the What’s On menu.
Help us achieve more?
Become a member of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. We’ll be spending around £100,000 a year caring for this special place, so if you love the Roaches, please join us from only £2.50 a month. You’ll get a 44 page magazine three times a year plus info on loads of events, walks, talks and volunteering. Call 01889 880100 or visit www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk
You can also make a one-off £5 donation to the Trust’s work on the Roaches on your mobile phone by texting ROCK10£5 to 70070.
How to get there
Travelling north from Leek on the A53 the estate can be seen to your left. There are numerous access points so please use the links below
Parking & Access
There are a number of public footpaths across the estate. Please follow all on-site guidance
Want to know more about nature reserve designations? Just click the icons below
975 acres / 395 hectares
Other Reserves Nearby
Whilst you're in the area, why not explore a few more of our nature reserves?