Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Let it snow...

Community scientists Mollie and John visited Kinder Scout this weekend to carry out the monthly downloads of data collected by the loggers on our environmental monitoring site. Their job was made more challenging (but also more fun!) by the thick layer of snow which fell there on Friday night...


Mollie surveys the scene...


As Mollie explained: "We dug through over 2 feet of snow to find the rain gauge, air pressure logger and humidity and temp logger. Luckily the auto dipwell was sticking out so we had a reference point to start our digging from!"



John connects the rain gauge logger to the shuttle


John and Mollie were rewarded for their efforts with spectacular views of a magical looking landscape...




Sunday, 24 December 2017

On the twelth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

...12 plovers flapping,

 



The golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria) is a wading bird, slightly smaller than a lapwing, which in the summer breeds in the uplands of northern Britain. Moors for the Future Partnership's work to re-vegetate and re-wet the blanket bogs of the South Pennines should have a beneficial impact on this bird, and other waders such as dunlin. Bird surveys at RSPB's Dove Stone estate on the western side of the Peak District have shown that breeding pairs of golden plover present on the site have almost doubled from 59 in 2004 to 110 in 2017, as a result of blanket bog conservation work.

 

11 bags for brashing,

 


 

10 geese migrating,

 


 

9 plants a-pluggin',

 


 

8 Sphagna growing,

 


 

7 sites now set up,

 

 

 

6 leaves a-prickling,

 


 

5 red deer!

 


 

4 hare prints,

 


 

3 lizards,

 

 

 

2 mating toads,

 


and a bilberry bumblebee!

 

Saturday, 23 December 2017

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

...11 bags for brashing,

 



One of the first stages in the bare peat re-vegetation process carried out by Moors for the Future Partnership, is to spread chopped heather - known as 'brash' - on to the peat surface. After being flown to site by helicopter in one tonne bags (such as those pictured), the brash is spread by hand to form a lattice over the surface. The contents of each bag should cover about 50 square metres when spread. The brash forms a barrier to reduce erosion from weather, and also contains the seeds of heather and any other plants present when it was cut, plus moss fragments and spores. The brash layer is crucial in stabilising the peat surface. Without it, seeds would be washed away before they had chance to germinate.

 10 geese migrating,

 


 

9 plants a-pluggin',

 


 

8 Sphagna growing,

 


 

7 sites now set up,

 

 

 

6 leaves a-prickling,

 


 

5 red deer!

 


 

4 hare prints,

 


 

3 lizards,

 

 

 

2 mating toads,

 


and a bilberry bumblebee!

 

Friday, 22 December 2017

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

...10 geese migrating,

 



These geese were spotted this autumn migrating over Big Moor on the eastern edge of the Peak District. Pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) migrate to the UK each winter from locations such as Greenland and Iceland. They produce a characteristic high pitched honking, and often travel in large V-shaped 'skeins'.

 

9 plants a-pluggin',

 


 

8 Sphagna growing,

 


 

7 sites now set up,

 

 

 

6 leaves a-prickling,

 


 

5 red deer!

 


 

4 hare prints,

 


 

3 lizards,

 

 

 

2 mating toads,

 


and a bilberry bumblebee!

 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

...9 plants a-pluggin',

 



Moors for the Future Partnership's work to re-vegetate the blanket bogs of the Peak District and South Pennines has involved hand planting hundreds of thousands of 'plug plants'. These are small plants of species including bilberry, crowberry, cross-leaved heath, cloudberry, common cottongrass, hare's tail cottongrass, and Sphagnum mosses.

8 Sphagna growing,

 



7 sites now set up,

 

 

 

6 leaves a-prickling,

 


 

5 red deer!

 


 

4 hare prints, 

 


 

3 lizards,

 

 

 

2 mating toads,

 


and a bilberry bumblebee!

 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

...8 Sphagna growing

 



Sphagnum mosses are a group of small but incredible plants, which have enabled metres of peat to build up on our blanket bogs over thousands of years. Sphagnum mosses are brilliant at retaining water, and also produce an anti-microbial chemical called 'sphagnan'. This means that dying plant material doesn't rot down and instead accumulates to form a dark black 'soil' - peat. Peat is a great store of carbon - so the historical loss of Sphagnum mosses from our South Pennine bogs is something Moors for the Future Partnership is working to reverse. Through Community Science, volunteers have been out surveying Sphagnum mosses and adding to 'The Big Moss Map'.

7 sites now set up,

 

 

 

6 leaves a-prickling,

 


 

5 red deer!

 


 

4 hare prints, 

 


3 lizards,

 

 

 

2 mating toads,

 


and a bilberry bumblebee!