What’s on : Lectures

Restoring Yorkshire Peatlands

29 Sep 2021
Start time
2:30 PM
Tempest Anderson Hall
Matthew Snelling
Restoring Yorkshire Peatlands

Event Information

Restoring Yorkshire Peatlands
Mathew Snelling, Peatland Restoration Officer, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Peat Partnership

Peatlands are unique and internationally important habitats with acidic soils and low amounts of nutrients. Specialist species have adapted to live on them, which are being, or have already been, lost on degraded and damaged peatlands.

This habitat is severely damaged and Yorkshire Peat Partnership will be sharing how they are restoring this landscape for wildlife and people.

This event will be held at 2.30pm in the Tempest Anderson Lecture Theatre, Yorkshire Museum on WEDNESDAY 29th SEPTEMBER

This event is for YPS Members but membership is open to all. Join the YPS

Member’s report

Peat’s ability to capture and store carbon is superior to that of forest, it supports a range of biodiversity, and it manages our water supply, helping to prevent flooding by holding back water on the heights, and filtering rainwater before it flows into reservoirs. It covers 3% of the earth’s landmass and accounts for 30% of the carbon stored on land. Of the three types of peat bog, lowland raised bogs, fens, and blanket bog, Yorkshire is home to two of them: fen at Potterick Carr, and blanket bog on the uplands of the Pennines and the North York Moors.  These breathtaking landscapes are internationally recognised as valuable wildlife habitat for flora and fauna including cotton grass, sundew, short-eared owls, golden plover and marsh harriers.

Some 80% of the United Kingdom’s peatland has been degraded by draining, fire damage and overgrazing.  After the Second World War 7,000 km of drainage grips were dug, which in conjunction with 2,500 km of eroding gullies lowered that water table.  Areas of bare peat were exposed, leaving vulnerable surfaces subject to erosion by wind, animal grazing, and the feet of walkers.  The Yorkshire Peat Partnership was formed to counter this damage.  An umbrella organization [* https://www.yppartnership.org.uk/] with members including the two Yorkshire National Parks, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, DEFRA, the Environment Agency and Natural England, it funds the Peat Restoration Team, part of the Wildlife Trust. This team surveys the damage, records the wildlife, blocks gullies and grips (1,704 km to date) and reprofiles steep peat banks, exposed to erosion (3,000km to date) and researches the best methods of replanting.  Today 36,574 hectares is in the first stage of restoration, 38% of the blanket bog in Yorkshire.  And our best way to support this vital activity?  Our speaker was unequivocal – “Join the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust”.

Felicity Hurst