Peaks National Park Pathogens and Closure Update – Access to Halley’s Observatory Restored

The Environment, Natural Resources and Planning Portfolio (ENRP) has been made aware of people entering the Peaks National Park without authorisation.

The public are reminded that parts of the Peaks National Park are closed to prevent the spread of the tree diseases affecting our endemic plants. These areas will remain closed as long as is deemed necessary whilst work continues to assess the threat of the pathogens and manage their spread. Environmental Protection Notices (EPNs) are in place to enforce these closures.

The EPNs are legally binding. Anyone who ignores these notices and crosses the barriers is committing an offence, for which the maximum penalty is a fine of up to £25,000 or imprisonment for six months, or both.

These notices are placed at various access points within the Peaks National Park alongside physical barriers. This includes locked gates, as at the Cabbage Tree Road entrance and Black Gate Nursery entrance, chains across pathways as at the High Peak entrance or biosecurity tape as at the George Benjamin Arboretum and Cason’s areas.

In December 2023, it was announced that as work remains underway to assess the threat and impact of the pathogens, the closures would remain in effect until at least March 2024. However following a boundary review, the area closed from the Halley’s Mount entrance has been revised and access to the Halley’s Observatory is now permitted. This follows an assessment of spread of the pathogens and how best to manage access to the Peaks National Park in practice. The EPN has been relocated to the boundary of the Peaks National Park which is further up on the pathway. Access into the park from the Halley’s Mount entrance is still prohibited.

If anyone is unsure where the closed areas are and would like further clarification please contact the Chief Environmental Officer, Isabel Peters or Forestry Officer, Myra Young by telephone on 24724 at the ENRP Offices at Scotland during normal working hours.

ENRP acknowledges that reports suggest it is just a small number of persons who are ignoring the EPNs, despite the risk to our precious endemics and at risk of their own prosecution. We would like to extend our thanks to the majority of people who are observing the EPNs and respecting the closures.

Your support is very much appreciated.


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St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470