Project information

Restoring Roaches Footpaths

This project will heal erosion scars caused by footpaths on the Roaches in the Staffordshire Peak District.

Using traditional footpath techniques we will reduce environmental harm and improve access by restoring the footpaths across the estate.

This project will help wildlife and people.

May 2014 - December 2019

Charity information: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Limited

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Limited logo
  • Need


    The Roaches are visited by 100,000 people every year. This intense visitor pressure has eroded the fragile soils causing huge scars that can be seen for miles around.

    Some paths are now over 30 feet wide and 3 feet deep and treacherous for walkers. As a result visitors are cutting new paths which is making the situation worse and is affecting the biodiversity on the site.


    This situation is entirely reversible within 5 years. Our volunteers and contractors will repair and restore the paths using traditional techniques that will blend into the countryside and result in much improved accessibility.

    in 5 years time all the scars will have been healed - forever.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve footpath conditions for visitors


    » using traditional footpath techniques we will provide a much more even and robust path for visitors.

    What success will look like

    Footpath surfaces will be more even and robust - much better for walking on without harming the environment.

    Aim 2

    Reduce erosion


    » We will improve drainage to ensure water run-off is more controlled and does not cause erosion issues on the slopes.

    What success will look like

    In five years time the erosion scars will have completely gone!

    Aim 3

    Allow habitat / biodiversity to recover


    » Areas around the restored paths will be re-landscaped to allow the natural vegetation to grow back.

    What success will look like

    Areas that are currently bare will have recovered.

  • Impact


    The techniques we will use on site are very traditional - crafts such as stone pitching and use of flagstones. There are examples where paths created in this way have lasted over 1,000 years. This project is therefore very much about long term improvement.

    This is a very tangible project where "success" is measured in the number of metres of footpath we are able to restore.


    There are risks associated with operational delivery. All aspects of the work will be planned and fully risk assessed. Training will be provided for any volunteers working on the project. All work will be supervised by experienced professionals.


    We make extensive use of social media and find this is an excellent way of communicating and interacting with our audience.

    We will also encouraging donors to visit the Roaches and see the results themselves.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £175,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £175,000 footpath restoration a 3 to 5 year programme of works across the Roaches Estate

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Public Donations £7,648 Guaranteed
    British Mountaineering Council £5,400 Guaranteed
    Severn Trent Water PLC £2,029 Guaranteed
    European Outdoor Conservation Association £23,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project will take place on the Roaches. This is a 975 acre upland nature reserve in the Southern Peak district.


    Over 100,000 visits take place to the Roaches every year. People of all ages and from all over the country visit the site.

    The Roaches are particularly well used by climbers and walkers. Many school groups also visit as part of outward bounds trips.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Staffordshire Wildlife Trust owns the Roaches through a 125 year lease. As custodians of the estate we work closely with many partners to bring about improvements for visitors and wildlife.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jon Rowe

    Jon is the reserve warden and is responsible for coordinating the work we undertake on the estate. Jon will manage the contracts and volunteers.

    Jeff Sim

    Jeff oversees the Trust's nature reserves and is line manager for Jon. Jeff's previous role was Roaches warden.