COUNTRYSIDE lovers will be able to step on a virtual peat bog without wetting their feet…
The Moors for the Future Partnership has set the wheels in motion to bring the breath-taking beauty of the Peak District and South Pennine moors to an appreciative audience.
They are working on the first-ever “moor in a van” – a Bogtastic mobile exhibition vehicle – welcoming visitors in city and town centres across the Peak District and South Pennines.
The unique project will allow visitors to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the iconic uplands, giving inspiration to those who value and love their local moors.
In addition, the partnership is exploring new ways to share a hands-on understanding of the vitally important landscape, including to feel the sensation of Sphagnum moss, a vital bog plant that can hold up to 20 times its own weight in water.
The mosses have been killed off by pollution from the industrial revolution and wildfire, leaving vulnerable peat exposed.
The moorlands are home to unique and iconic wildlife including curlew, golden plover, short-eared owl and mountain hare, as well as providing drinking water to millions of people across the UK.
Healthy peat moors can also help to reduce flooding in local at-risk towns and villages and contribute to reducing the effects of climate change by storing carbon.
Rebecca Cassidy, senior communications officer at Moors for the Future Partnership said: “The aim is to provide inspiration to people from all walks of life to understand, enjoy, and protect the unique habitat of blanket bog across the South Pennines.
“We want to increase understanding of the benefits of our iconic moorland including for wildlife, as a source of drinking water for millions of people, helping to stop flooding into local, high-risk towns, and a major store of carbon to tackle climate change.
“We need people to understand the fragility of our uplands, especially their vulnerability to wildfire, so we can ensure these unique landscapes are protected for generations to come.”
Chris Dean, head of programme delivery, added: “Our ground-breaking Bogtastic campaign will bring the moors to people in towns and cities, inspiring them about the beauty and importance of the uplands in the UK’s original national park.”
The Bogtastic van will hit the road later this year and travel across the whole of the area.
The campaign is part of the Moors for the Future Partnership’s MoorLIFE 2020 project, funded by the EU LIFE programme and co-financed by Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water and United Utilities.