Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Mountain hares on BBC Look North

Yesterday morning didn't look promising -  a thick fog hung over the summit of Black Hill as the Community Science team set out with Danny Carpenter from BBC Look North and Dave O'Hara from RSPB to film mountain hares for a piece about our new hare survey.

A very stealthy Danny and Dave filming a hare
Luckily, the fog started to clear as we reached one of the areas where we had seen hares previously - and hoped we would see them again. 

Pretty quickly they started to appear, but filming them proved a little tricky - as one of the UK's fastest land mammals they could exit the frame at top speed! One particularly accommodating hare, still in its brown summer coat, posed very nicely; but another hare with a patchy white 'transition' coat was very camera shy and determined not to be filmed.

Sarah being interviewed by Danny
Sarah Proctor (Community Science Project Manager) spoke to Danny about the project, why we are interested in recording sightings of mountain hares and their coat colour, and the possible implications of climate change for hares. 

Once we know when the piece is going out, we will let you know. In the meantime, if you have seen any hares and want to let us know, or you'd like more information about getting involved in our surveys, please head to our website:

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

How to monitor a moor...

This short film made by one of our fantastic volunteers shows how we go about monitoring an area of moorland, and even includes a short cameo from a mountain hare:

You can see volunteers laying out quadrats (randomly placed squares used as a 'sample' of the moorland), installing equipment like peat anchors (for measuring peat depth), dipwells (for measuring water table) and a rain gauge (for measuring rainfall) amongst other things. Data from this kit will be downloaded monthly and used to see how the moorland is responding to climate change in the long term.

The film also shows the initial survey of the plants on the site - our volunteers answer questions like: Which species of plants are present? How tall are they? What condition are they in? Are there any signs of wildlife? This information will be collected every year to see if there is a trend or pattern of changes. 

Many thanks to Sergio for filming, to Eastern Moors Partnership and Sheffield City Council and all the volunteers who helped to set the site up. The film was mostly shot on Burbage Moor, with the hare footage captured near Bleaklow.

If you'd be interested in getting involved in moorland monitoring like this, please get in touch with us at