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Dales peatland ‘a stirring scene of restoration’ - Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

A coir log staked across an erosion channel on Fleet Moss, with Ingleborough in the distance (Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)
A coir log staked across an erosion channel on Fleet Moss, with Ingleborough in the distance (Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)

An ‘enormous’ amount of restoration work is taking place at the most damaged blanket bog peatland in the National Park.

Thousands of tonnes of coir, brash and stone have been brought this spring to Fleet Moss, Oughtershaw and Bleaberry – an area of moorland covering 166 hectares, located six kilometres south of the town of Hawes.

The coir logs and stone, brought to site by helicopter, are being used to block erosion channels.

Brash – a mixture of cut heather, cotton grass and other peatland plants – is being spread over bare areas of peat to re-seed it and protect it from eroding further.

Much precious peat has been washed off the moor in recent decades. On parts of Fleet Moss, channels four metres deep have appeared. This means four thousand years of history have in effect been swept away, as peat is formed by sphagnum mosses at a rate of one metre depth every thousand years.

Work on the ground has now been paused for the ground nesting bird season but it will begin again in July, before the three-year project comes to an end in December.

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