They lie at the top of the catchments that supply our drinking water. When blanket bogs are in good condition, the water that runs off them into drinking water reservoirs is usually cleaner, thanks to special moorland plants called sphagnum moss.
However, due to a combination of factors, many of our blanket bogs have been damaged. They are often drier and many are actively eroding. This causes carbon, in the form of peat, to be released into the water, reducing its quality in several ways:
All of these require expensive treatment before the water is supplied to our homes. Surveys on moorland streams have also found that degraded peatlands lead to higher levels of erosion and stream acidification.
By conserving blanket bog, we are tackling water issues directly at the source. We’re allowing nature to improve the quality of raw water leaving the moor, reducing costs and water bills.
This means less sediment will be present in the water and results in a natural and sustainable way of reducing purification and treatment costs in order for the water to meet the required drinking water standards.
A report on the upland management plan for water in the upper catchments of the South Pennines Special Area of Conservation until 2030