Derby

Peak District National Park Authority sells six woodlands

Newhaven woodland Image copyright Fisher German
Image caption A woodland in the Peak District near Newhaven was sold for about £15,000

A national park has sold off six small woodlands to "reduce liabilities" at a time of budget cuts.

The Peak District National Park Authority has raised £60,000 by selling 7.54 hectares (18.6 acres) of woodland in separate plots

The new owners, who include a family and a woodland fancier, face restrictions on the use of the plots.

Another six plots of woodland will be marketed in the next few months by an estate agent.

'Protecting woodland'

The first woodland plots sold were in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire and were former rubbish sites, quarries or plantations.

Sarah McKay, from the authority, said: "We feel we have done what we can with the woodland.

"We've established or improved them and we feel it is time to return them to the community, at a time where we are also reducing our liabilities in terms of the budget reductions we have to make."

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"The sales will allow us to focus on the protection, improvement and maintenance of our remaining woodlands.''

The Woodland Trust said it would monitor the situation, adding the new owners were subject to the same planning regulations as national parks.

The parkland plots were located near Chapel-en-le-Frith, Hathersage, Newhaven and Baslow in Derbyshire, Wildboarclough in Cheshire and Wetton in North Staffordshire.

All national parks have been facing large cuts in grants - the Peak District authority has lost £3.5m in funding since 2010 - a reduction of 36.5%.

Woodland restrictions

Image caption Most of the woodlands for sale are between one and two hectares - not much larger than the size of a football pitch
  • Development of the woodland is severely restricted
  • Wood can be harvested from the lots but the amount is also restricted
  • The small lots are mostly a few hectares - with each hectare being roughly the size of a football pitch
  • Coronation Plantation in Leadmill, near Hathersage (1,14ha), sold for £16,000

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