Access Closures Walking

Peak District closes all Access Land to public due to moorland fire risk

Due to the “Extreme” red heat warning and risk of moorland fires now being at a “critical” level, the Peak District National Park has this morning suspended all public access to Access Land.

Update 25/07/22: All Access Land restrictions have now been lifted.

Access Land in England often includes large wilder areas of plateaus and moorland, with free public access for activities on foot. Announced on Twitter, the closure effectively means large areas of the Dark Peak in particular are now off-limits to the public.

On Ordnance Survey maps, Access Land is marked by orange shading and a pale orange outline.

Notably, this “closure” includes the whole of the Combs Moss plateau, large parts of Kinder Scout, including Kinderlow End (pictured above) and Brown Knoll, plus large parts of the moors above the Upper Derwent Valley.

Combs Moss, showing Access Land shaded orange (Source: Bing Maps/Ordnance Survey)

However, public footpaths (dotted green lines) remain “open”, and still allow access to landmarks such as the Kinder trigpoint and Kinder Downfall.

Many Access Land moors in the Dark Peak are managed for grouse shooting, including cutting or controlled burning of vegetation and the use of firearms in season (from mid August).

Kinder Scout and Edale Access Land (Source: Bing Maps/Ordnance Survey)

The National Park Authority hasn’t yet announced how long the suspension of public access will be in place or whether further landscape protection measures could be considered.

Rangers and emergency services are likely highly nervous after a spate of fires around Dovestones. In the High Peak, a Public Spaces Protection Order is in force for all Peak District National Park land within the borough, banning the lighting of fires, barbecues, fireworks and chinese lanterns.

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About Peaks & Puddles

Hello, I'm Anthony. I started Peaks & Puddles to chart the ups and downs of cycling and walking the edges of the Peak District around Buxton, Macclesfield and Stockport, and to help more people explore this brilliant landscape between town and country. Find out more about me and Peaks & Puddles here.