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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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Moorland Association says Gove intervention on general licences chaos a ‘bold step in the right direction’ The Moorland Association today welcomed the intervention of Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, over the general licences fiasco that is endangering a range of threatened bird species. Mr Gove has temporarily assumed power to grant licences and has agreed to undertake an urgent evidence review of the decision that […]

MOORLAND ASSOCIATION DISMAYED BY NATURAL ENGLAND BAN ON GENERAL LICENCES The Moorland Association issued the following statement today in response to the announcement by Natural England that it is revoking three general licences for controlling certain predatory birds as of Thursday 25th April 2019. General licences permit land managers to control common birds in order to conserve a range of threatened ground nesting bird populations. […]

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