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.
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).
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.