Research & Monitoring
Alongside the physical conservation works undertaken by Moors for the Future is the research and monitoring of organisms, processes and functions that shape moorland ecosystems.
Measuring and recording the effects of moorland restoration and management on different aspects of the environment and its users at a range of spatial scales over time, allows us to
assess the impact of restoration, quantify conservation successes, identify future targets and develop our understanding of this internationally important landscape.
We are able to draw on numerous and varied resources to:
- Design and deliver Research and Monitoring Projects
- Identify the Ecosystem Services that Moorlands provide and monitor how restoration and management activities effect these.
- Provide Research Support including
- Share our research findings in publications and reports
- Support post-graduate study through the Moorland Research Fund
- Promote moorland conservation and community outreach through the Moorland Indicators of Climate Change Initiative (MICCI)
- Sign post Links and Resources
- Administrate the South Pennine Moors (SPM) GeoNetwork
- Contribute to an overview of peatland restoration and management activities across the UK through the Peat Compendium
- Host knowledge exchange and information transfers in collaboration with our communications team
- Collate and manage databases of existing National Park records
- Represent the Peak District National Park Authority at meetings, workshops and events.
- Provide guidance for visitors
- Co-ordinate research and monitoring projects from different partners to maximise data availability and use
- Promote collaboration between research, conservation and land management practitioners
Since 2003 we have been collaborating with leading UK universities and academic research institutions specialising in upland ecology and geography to undertake baseline biodiversity surveys, measure chemical and physical elements of the moorland environment and monitor changes to these over time (above right). This data allows us, our collaborators, partners and other organisations to assess the impact of physical conservation on moorland habitats.
Automated dipwells are used to measure how ground water levels change over time after revegetating treatments. As a key aim of our work is to stabilise bare peat, Peat pins (far left) were trialled to determine the rate of erosion.
Building extensive, comprehensive data sets over long periods of time also allows us to track natural changes, such as climate change, to ecosystems and their services.
In addition to the projects that our research team undertake we encourage and support research by individuals, particularly young students, through Research Grants and support in the field.
Young academics often have their first opportunity to place their foot in the academic world on the platform provided by Moors for the Future Partnership in the form of publishing findings or presenting them at research conferences.
The collection of baseline data from the outset of the project has enabled us to assess the effectiveness of our work over time. Our datasets include bird surveys, landscape audit of vegetation cover (left, top), footpath condition assessments, visitor attitude surveys (left, bottom) and Digital Terrain Modelling (left, middle) amongst others. Our annual vegetation surveys involve teams of dedicated volunteers who cover all our restoration sites and collect data on the plant species and vegetation structure.