Moors for the Future – Community Science Launch Event

This week, I was delighted to be asked to be part of The ‘Moors for the Future’ Launch event for a Community Science project. Joseph Margetts, the Community Science Project Communications Officer had contacted me a few months ago and asked if I would come and give a talk at the event about the work I do. With the Peak District and its wonderful moorland habitat right on my doorstep, I was interested to find out more about the project.

Since 2003, Moors for the Future have been working to reverse more than 200 years of damage that left large areas of these uplands bare of vegetation.

Individual land owners and managers in the Peak District realised that the problem of moorland erosion could not be tackled by one organisation alone and in February 2003 the Moors for the Future Partnership was formed.

The Moors for the Future Partnership has three objectives:

  1. To raise awareness of why the moors are valuable and to encourage responsible use and care of the landscape
  2. To restore and conserve important recreational and natural moorland resources
  3. To develop expertise on how to protect and manage the moors sustainably

This event was launching the Moors for the Future Partnership’s Community Science Project’s Mountain Hare survey and Moss Map. It is aiming to engage people in recording moorland wildlife and habitat information in the heart of the UK, especially those who may not have an active interest in science or the environment, hoping to re-connect people with their natural environment, inspire them to protect and enjoy their moorlands and provide free, accessible opportunities for outdoor learning. The information which citizen scientists collect can be a vital early warning system for climate change (which is one of the key aims of this project)

You can find out lots more about this project on their website by clicking on the image below:

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This event not only highlighted the excellent work already going on, but also the Mountain Hare survey , where visitors to the area are asked to log the rabbit, Mountain Hare and Brown Hares they see…

(Click the image to go to the website page)

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Also, the Big Moss Map Study…

(Click the image to go to the website page)

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I was joined by Richard Lindsay, a Sphagnum Moss expert from University of East London, Brett Westwood (Radio 4 presenter, Springwatch Extra and Natural History expert extraordinaire!) and the wonderful guys and gals involved in this project.

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There are a range of free apps that you can upload …. (Click image)

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and results can be sent in via their free postcards, online or through the app.

Finally, I will be judging their new photography competition, along with Paul Hobson. Click on the image below if you think you may have some moorland images suitable!

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To whet your appetite, here are some beautiful images taken by Tom Aspinall, The Community Science Project Officer…

©Tom Aspinall

©Tom Aspinall

©Tom Aspinall

©Tom Aspinall

©Tom Aspinall

©Tom Aspinall

Thank you to all who made this such a fantastic event… I met with, and chatted to, so many enthusiastic people. I wish them all the best for this great Community Science Project!