Work has begun on a €16 million scheme to tranform the South Pennines moorlands as part of a major UK conservation project.
The work is part of MoorLIFE 2020, a five year project that aims to protect the remaining blanket bog in the South Pennines Special Area of Conservation.
The project will receive €12 million from the EU LIFE programme and will also be co-financed by several companies including Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water and United Utilities.
Diarmuid Crehan, MoorLIFE 2020 project manager said: “The sheer scale of this project has meant that it is important that in-depth preparatory work has been carried out first and we are delighted that work on the ground is underway.
“Over the life of the project we will be re-vegetating almost 50 hectares of bare peat, blocking 85 km of erosion gullies as well as conducting a fantastic amount of research and monitoring to measure the impact it has.”
The first phase of work will see the blocking of erosion gullies on Howden and Derwent Moors to raise the water table and also rewet the moors.
The dams are flown onto site and will be installed by hand by the National Trust’s Peak District estate team which is delivering this part of the project.
Jon Stewart, general manager for the National Trust in the Peak District, said: “Being a partner in MoorLIFE2020 will enable the trust to continue its extensive moorland restoration work as part of our High Peak Moors Vision.
“This restoration work has huge public benefits.
“We are raring to go and make a real positive difference for these well-loved and very special moorlands”.