Great Big Nature Boost

The Eastern Moors (Sheffield) and The Roaches (Staffordshire)

We are working with Severn Trent on their Great Big Nature Boost initiative

Works began in Autumn 2023 on Big Moor and Leash Fen

Up to 731 hectares of high-density sphagnum moss planting are planned

For the Great Big Nature Boost project Severn Trent has joined forces with the RSPB, National Trust, Moors for the Future Partnership, the Rivers Trust, National Forest and regional Wildlife Trusts to reduce the use of chemicals and cut carbon emissions.

Moors for the Future Partnership are progressing planned works at Leash Fen and Big Moor in the Eastern Moors partnership near Sheffield, which includes:

  • 2023/24 – up to 391 hectares of sphagnum planting
  • 2024/25 – up to 340 hectares of sphagnum planting

The project will enhance blanket bog habitat conditions for biodiversity and climate change resilience by re-introducing sphagnum moss into degraded blanket bog habitats, placing them on a trajectory towards creating thriving upland bog communities

During the life of the project we will install fixed point photography points across the site in order to capture the change as a result of the moorland restoration .

We have a planned a series of schools visits and youth engagement sessions, taking place through partnership events across the catchment area which will begin in Spring 2024. These sessions will help create legacy materials to be used by all educational groups for free, well beyond the life of the project.

In development are new and creative ways to connect people with nature and blanket bogs with the use of every day sketching, via workshops and take-home materials about the ecosystem of peatland. These will be activities for the confident as well as the not so confident drawer, encouraging participants to draw only for themselves, not for show.  It’s all about having a go and having fun and appreciating the beauty of the moors.

Restoration work on The Roaches in Staffordshire is also being carried out as part of Defra's Nature for Climate initiative under Moors for the Future Partnership's Moor Climate Action project

GBNB_Sphagnum plug plant
April 2024

In the 2023-2024 restoration works season on the Eastern Moors near Sheffield we planted 378,750 sphagnum moss plug plants across 303 hectares of moors around Big Moor and 65,750 sphagnum moss plug plants over 25 hectares on The Roaches in Staffordshire.

Sphagnum planting on Bamford and the Roaches made possible through match funding by Severn Trent has also allowed  the Moor Climate Action 2 partnership, to deliver a suite of restoration works across these sites.

GBNB_Sphagnum moss planting
January 2024

By January 2024, 57 hectares of sphagnum planted on Leash Fen & Big Moor had been planted since works began in January 2023.