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Water

Seventy per cent of the UK’s drinking water comes from the uplands and the Moorland Association takes the responsibility for its protection very seriously.

As peat soils dry out through drainage, wildfires, or over dominance of shrubby plants like heather, peat, and the carbon stored in it, can be washed into water courses. This turns water brown and can cost water companies – and their customers – large sums of money to remove the discolouration to meet drinking water standards.

Land managers have a key role to play in understanding the interactions between vegetation management and water catchments to minimise colour run-off reaching reservoirs. There are few tools at their disposal, but careful use of, and in combination, burning, mowing and grazing patterns can be sympathetically deployed.

Slowing the flow, reducing erosion of peat and introducing Sphagnum moss has improved water quality on this water catchment site also managed for grouse and sheep grazing.

Slowing the flow, reducing erosion of peat and introducing Sphagnum moss has improved water quality on this water catchment site also managed for grouse and sheep grazing.

As with carbon capture, good moorland water quality depends on a layer of Sphagnum moss acting as a protective cloak between peat and other taller plants. Sphagnum not only slows water flow across the surface – potentially mitigating against flash flooding further downstream – it also filters out any colour along the way. Read more about grouse moor management and flooding.

Many of our projects, including bare peat vegetation, drain blocking and raising the moor’s water table help reduce the erosion of peat into water courses and encourages Sphagnum to grow – and filter the water for free.

Moorland Association works with Natural England, Yorkshire Water, United Utilities and peatland restoration partnerships to find workable conservation solutions, while securing the long-term future of grouse moor management and agriculture on the land.

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Did You Know?

75% of of the world’s remaining heather moorland is found in Britain – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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Shared outcome approach is a winner at Wemmergill Thursday 15th June saw a diverse group of stakeholders visit Wemmergill Estate to enjoy an informative day up on the moor and witness a variety of moorland management techniques in action. Representatives from Natural England, North Pennines AONB and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme joined Wemmergill Estate staff […]

Grouse moor management vital in the fight against Lyme disease The Moorland Association welcomes the new research by the University of Glasgow into the impact of high deer numbers and Lyme disease, which affects both humans and animals. The research revealed that the correlation is indeed positive despite previous arguments that it was conservation activities such as woodland planting which has increased the risk of […]

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