Building Blocks – Next Steps in Gully Blocking is a 36-month project to continue restoration works to address the biodiversity in the South Pennine Moors SAC, improve the condition of the blanket bogs and reduce water discolouration.
The South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA) includes the major moorland blocks of the South Pennines from Ilkley in the North to Leek and Matlock in the South. It covers extensive tracts of semi-natural moorland habitats including upland heath and blanket mire. The diverse mosaic of habitats contributes greatly to ornithological interests, which includes birds of prey and waders.
This project will inform the Partnership’s work going forward, leading to a prioritised list of the next 100,000 gully blocks to be installed, and taking this important work into the future.
Chris Dean (head of programme delivery at Moors for the Future Partnership): Why Building Blocks? The history of the Partnership and the scale of the problem we faced working with the most degraded landscape in Europe.
Dr David Chandler (science programme manager at Moors for the Future Partnership): The science behind the project and working with Newcastle University.
Matt Scott-Campbell (conservation programme manager at Moors for the Future Partnership): Why we took on the project; importance of the project as a blueprint for future work.
Laura Ashley-Winter (project manager at Moors for the Future Partnership): Outlining the process: taking on landscape-scale projects in partnership.
Dr Sam Dixon (Senior GIS officer at Moors for the Future Partnership): How we did it; the hydrological modelling.
The hydrological integrity of the blanket bog habitat in the SAC has been adversely affected by a range of factors; principally historic air pollution, wild fires and land use / management practices. This has led to:
Since 2003, projects undertaken by Moors for the Future Partnership have installed over 30,500 gully blocks including timber, stone, peat and heather dams, to slow water run-off; often alongside planting of sphagnum moss, the essential bog-building vegetation.
A report from the Building Blocks project - prioritising 100,000 gully block locations in the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC) to inform the next 10 to 20 years of moorland restoration.
Working to raise the water table and restore the wet conditions of healthy blanket bog