Volunteers brave the elements to plant sphagnum moss - Peak District National Park

Staff and volunteers get a tutorial in plug planting from Partnership Manager Karen Shelley-Jones (Peak District NPA)

A major planting project in the Staffordshire Moorlands will help to improve water quality and create more species-rich moors.

Staff and volunteers from the South West Peak Landscape Partnership took part in a week-long sphagnum moss planting project.

Braving wet and windy weather, the team successfully planted 10,000 plug plants, paving the way for further work next year as part of the Partnership’s Upstream Thinking project.

Upstream Thinking is the result of funding awarded to the South West Peak Landscape Partnership by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and will complement funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project draws on the experience of farmers and local landowners to improve water quality by increasing understanding, capital investment and natural flood management in the South West Peak. By supporting sustainable upstream land management, far-reaching water quality improvements can be achieved.

Upstream Thinking will also include a range of work, such as producing farm water and soil plans to help reduce agricultural pollution, removing non-native invasive species and creating new habitats. It will restore habitats such as wet heath and blanket bog, which retain a large amount of water and act as natural filters to slow the flow of water into local rivers, filtering out impurities.

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