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Peak District plateau is National Nature Reserve

Kinder Scout, the famous plateau in the heart of the Peak District, has been officially declared a National Nature Reserve.

Natural England, the Government's advisory body on the natural environment, awarded the special status to the 700-hectare area, which is owned by The National Trust. It is among the most popular upland areas in England for walkers and holds a special affection as the site of the famous 1932 Mass Trespass – the catalyst for the creation of National Parks, and the eventual restoration of age-old rights to ramble.

Yesterday Kinder Scout, which is more than 2,000ft above sea level at its highest point, became the 223rd NNR in England and the 16th owned by the National Trust. Poul Christensen, the acting chair of Natural England, said: "National Nature Reserves are selected to build up a balanced network of the best examples of England's natural heritage, of which Kinder Scout is definitely one. As one of the most famous upland sites in England, it offers an excellent platform to promote engagement amongst the general public about the need to conserve and improve our upland habitats."

Mike Innerdale, the National Trust's Peak District General Manager, added of the Derbyshire beauty spot: "Kinder Scout is an iconic part of the Peak District that is enjoyed by millions of visitors each year and The National Trust strongly supports the declaration of the site as a National Nature Reserve. That status will help us to provide even more opportunities for visitors to discover this dramatic landscape."