Limestone Dales & Wye

White Peak from the Tissington Trail, Kieron Huston White Peak from the Tissington Trail, Kieron Huston

The Limestone Dales and Wye Living Landscape takes in some of the most spectacular and wildlife-rich country in Derbyshire.

This Living Landscape begins in the west close to Buxton, where gritstone gives way to limestone.

To the east are the limestone dales, many of which are managed and owned by nature conservation organisations. The Trust has five nature reserves here, covering 150 hectares (370 acres). Together with other dales such as Monk's Dale, Cressbrook Dale, Cunningdale and Deepdale near Sheldon, more than 860 hectares (2125 acres) of wildlife-rich habitat extends continuously for almost seven miles. Collectively these nature reserves represent one of the largest areas being actively managed for wildlife in Derbyshire.

Many rare plants grow in the dales, including limestone fern, mossy saxifrage, mountain pansy and moonwort.

The River Wye has wild trout and water vole populations and its tributaries are rich in invertebrate life, especially freshwater shrimps, mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies. Land-based invertebrates include many moths and butterflies, among them the declining wood tiger moth and wall butterfly.

Working for a Living Landscape

The Trust's aims here include:

  • ensuring that existing habitats continue to be managed sympathetically
  • addressing the threats to the dales
  • looking for ways to increase and enhance habitats such as hay meadows and limestone heaths, rivers and their margins