Moscar Science Project annual report 2015-16.pdf

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Summary: A comprehensive monitoring programme to evidence the benefits from blocking erosion gullies within private grouse moor

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The Moscar Science Project was funded by Natural England. The aim of the project was to provide evidence of the benefits of blocking erosion gullies within private grouse moor Higher Level Stewardship agreements in the Upper Derwent and Peak District generally.

The Moscar Science Project delivered an improved understanding of the benefits of blanket bog restoration on private grouse moors by monitoring and analysing the data for:

· The effects of restoration interventions on the species composition, abundance, distribution and breeding status of birds;

· The effect of gully blocking on the species composition of vegetation;

· The ability of restoration interventions to move the SSSI unit towards Favourable Condition Status;

· The effect of footpath restoration on visitor use of the site;

· The effect of restoration interventions on grouse abundance, distribution and breeding status of birds;

· The effect of restoration interventions on shoot productivity (grouse bag numbers);

· The effect of gully blocking on heather plant health and, as a consequence, its resilience to disease and pests, e.g. heather beetle;

· The effect of restoration interventions on water tables on the site;

· The effect of restoration interventions on fluvial particulate organic carbon (POC) loss from the site;

· The effect of restoration interventions on the levels of fluvial dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and colour from the site;

· The effect of restoration interventions on peat erosion rates; · Background information on water flow from the site.

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Keywords: Gully blocking; Water table; biodiversity; hydrology; ecosystem services; Natural capital; Vegetation monitoring

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