GREEN-FINGERED VOLUTEERS are being recruited for a major new moorland restoration project at a beauty spot in Greenfield.
The RSPB at Dovestone have secured a grant of more than £228,000 to rekindle blanket bog, which plays an important role in storing carbon, improving water quality and giving wildlife a home.
Upland areas of the Peak District used to boast thriving blanket bogs but these were damaged by a combination of industrial pollution, wildfires and heavy grazing leaving.
Restoring the bogs means re-covering bare peat with vegetation, repairing eroded gullies and planting sphagnum moss, the essential building block of the bog.
Over the past five years, staff and volunteers from the RSPB have already restored vegetation to large areas and repaired gullies at Dovestone, which it co-manages with landowner United Utilities.
The work will continue with the Spreading the Mosses project, involving planting more than 70,000 individual handfuls of sphagnum moss across a 100 hectares of moorland.
Gareth Roberts, Project Officer for the project, said: “Over five years the RSPB and their wonderful volunteers, together with United Utilities, have already made great progress.
“I am proud and excited to be continuing such important nature conservation work.
“I would love to hear from people who are equally passionate about Peak District moors and be interested in working as a volunteer on this project.
“You’ll learn some new skills, keep fit and meet some likeminded people.”
Dovestone forms part of a 57,000 hectare estate of water catchment land owned by United Utilities throughout the North West.
Simon Boyland, Integrated Catchment Strategy Manager at United Utilities, added: “We’ve transformed thousands of hectares of bare peat with sphagnum moss and blocked up miles of drainage ditches to re-establish boggy areas.
“Already we are seeing increasing numbers of birds and we are just starting to see evidence of improved water quality entering our reservoirs.
“Landscape restoration is a long-term process and it’s wonderful to see more good work starting here at Dovestone.”
If you are interested in volunteering on the project, call Gareth Roberts on 07834 148617 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org