Getting a first-hand view on progress in the Peak District

Welcoming some of the UK's leading landscape experts to the project in Dunford Bridge

On one of the best days of spring so far, the Peak East VIP project team welcomed members of the VIP project’s national Stakeholder Advisory Group to the site on Wednesday 23rd March.

After a presentation on project progress and achievements from Leanne Evans (Senior Project Manager), Phil Rose (Project Engineer) and Andy Neilly (Project Supervisor), the Group which comprises senior representatives from organisations including CPRE, the National Trust, the Campaign for National Parks, Historic England and Natural England heard from Andy Tickle, Head of Campaigns for CPRE Peak District & South Yorkshire.

Andy set the project in the context of the mass trespass of 1932 and the public inquiry in the 1960s that prevented the erection of the pylons over the Woodhead Pass (they were placed in the old Victorian railway tunnel as a result).  He then went on to look ahead at the challenges for landscape in the future.

After lunch, the group set off in glorious sunshine to walk the TPT temporary diversion down to Wogden Foot taking in the various features of the project – both engineering and environmental – along the way before returning to the Project Information Centre.

A visit to Torside and the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) in the Longdendale Valley followed.  This gave the group the chance to see at first hand the impact of National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) in the area, where a £200,000 LEI grant has helped significantly improve accessibility to the popular TPT.  You can read more about this project here.

Commenting on the visit, Chris Baines, the chairman of the Stakeholder Advisory Group said: “We were all very impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the project team.  They are treating the environment in the same way that they treat health and safety, carefully considering the implications of every action they undertake and the impact it could have on the environment.  It is a credit to the team to see such dedication and encouraging to see that lessons learned on the Dorset VIP project are being applied here.”