Phase 4 - Lime, Seed & Fertiliser

 

Moorland plants thrive in relatively acid conditions, but it has been found that some moorlands in the Peak District have an acidity on a par with lemon juice, which makes it almost impossible for any plant to survive, let alone flourish.

Following stabilisation, an important phase in the restoration process is to lower the soil acidity to somewhere in the region of a pH of 4 (which is still too acidic for many plants). This is done though the application of lime.

The sites are then seeded with grasses and treated with fertiliser. In this instance non-native grass species are selected because of their ability to grow quickly and establish good root growth, but they require fertiliser. Both the lime and fertiliser are applied annually for a number of years after seeding to maintain grass cover until the native species have established.

 All applications are carried out using a hopper underslung from a helicopter due to the large scale coverage required.

Moors for the Future have re-seeded 600 hectares (equivalent to 1200 football pitches) to prevent the erosion of peat, which contributes to carbon emissions. The re-seeding used 8 billion grass and heather seeds.

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