Review of ‘Peatland Ecology and Archaeology and The Peak District Journal of Natural History and Archaeology’, by Dr. Ian D. Rotherham & Professor Melvyn Jones

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 11th September 2000, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

Two new publications from Wildtrack Publishing of Sheffield will be of great interest to those with more than a passing concern for the ecology, natural history and archaeology of the Peak District. The Centre for Environmental Conservation and Outdoor Leisure at Sheffield Hallam University has given support to publication of both works, aimed primarily at readers with a practical or academic interest in the subjects dealt with.

Peatland Ecology and Archaeology: management of a cultural landscape, edited by Dr. Ian D. Rotherham, looks at the Peak District peatlands, representative of a very localised type of landscape for which Britain holds a significant proportion of the world resource. Under consideration is the impact of peat cutting on fauna and flora and on landscapes. Other major articles relate to wetland restoration in the Humberhead Levels, Casson's garden on Thorne Moors and human exploitation of southern lowland heath. Management of degraded mires is the subject of shorter notes, while space is also given to an overview of the 1997 Sheffield Conference of the Landscape Conservation Forum. Issues relating to future management are considered in depth.

Extensively illustrated, this 100 page publication is available at £11 inc. p&p, from Wildtrack Publishing, P.O.Box 1142, Sheffield, S1 1SZ.

The Peak District Journal of Natural History and Archaeology, edited by Dr. Ian D. Rotherham and Professor Melvyn Jones, is the first volume of a new, annual publication devoted to the natural history, ecology, history, archaeology and conservation of the Peak District and its environs. Illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams, Volume 1 contains major papers and articles on the historic landscape of the Upper Derwent and Hartington areas; the ecology of dew ponds in the White Peak; charcoal production in the region's woodlands - the scale of which has not been previously recognised; peat cutting in the south Pennines; the collection and analysis of moorland flint scatters, following a systematic survey on Burbage Moor; and forestry management of the Ladybower woodlands.

Volume 2, available in September, will cover a range of topics including Peak District deer, ancient coppice woods and features of archaeological interest.

Each of these first two volumes costs £11 inc. p&p. (The pre-publication price of Volume 2 is £9 if ordered before October (2000). Orders to the publishers as above.

Review by Julie Bunting

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