The first detailed survey of one of the rarest plant habitats in Europe – around old lead mines – has just been completed in the Peak District.
With only 100 hectares of these old lead mine habitats in the UK, and fewer than 20 hectares in Derbyshire, they are of international conservation importance. Their metallic soils – toxic to most plants – support rare metallophyte species such as alpine penny-cress and spring sandwort, both known locally as leadwort.
The survey, together with conservation work, was carried out by the Peak District National Park Authority, Natural England and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, supported by nearly £50,000 from SITA Trust’s Landfill Communities Fund.
The project’s conservation work involved National Trust volunteers at Odin Mine near Castleton and Eyam Guides at Highcliffe Mine on Eyam Edge.