Derbyshire’s rare – and toxic – beauties!

fly orchid

Ever heard of “calaminarian grasslands”? Thought not! But they are extremely rare and special habitats for plants and wildlife – and Derbyshire has more than any other part of the UK. James Butler reports.

THE Peak District National Park is home to a wide array of different habitats, from the vast moorlands offering stunning vistas, to the dense woodlands and rivers offering a safe haven for much of our wildlife. There is, however, no more wonderful habitat than the “calaminarian grasslands”. These habitats with the impressive names are, in fact, found in areas once inhabited by the county’s old lead mines. The waste from these old mining areas creates a truly unique habitat, with toxic soils giving rise to plants and animals perfectly adapted for survival in this hostile environment.