MICCI, the Moorland Indicators of Climate Change Initiative, is a UK-wide project giving secondary school students the opportunity to take part in real-world climate science. Students from schools in or close to UK National Parks – including here in the Peak District - visit moorland or other peatland areas to carry out activities which have been carefully designed to help monitor the health of these sites.
The Peak District National Park has been leading MICCI sessions for young people since 2008, offering students the opportunity to take part in ten different experiments designed to see how peatlands are changing over time. MICCI also explores scientific methods in the field and the relationship between weather, climate changes, carbon and water cycles, plants and wildlife – and the human environment.
Having previously taken place in March and battled the elements, including heavy rain and snow, this year we decided to run the sessions in September, trading rain for (mostly) sunshine. Thanks to the dryer weather, the initiative enjoyed record levels of activities.
MICCI is a great opportunity for young people to connect with our local moorlands and learn about how, if functioning well, these habitats can be a powerful ally in combatting climate change. With awareness of climate change in schools currently at an all-time high, the initiative was well received and had an enthusiastic welcome.
Five groups came out from various locations that range from Saddleworth to Handsworth, to collect a range of data about the health of our moorlands. We visited Harland Brook for the first time in a while to find it was swarming with beautiful four-spot orb-web spiders and found adder skin at both our Holme Moss and Cowper Stone sites!
Although we managed to avoid the rain on most of the visits there were still some wet feet, but not enough to dampen the students’ enthusiasm. Looking forwards, MICCI will now take place in September instead of March, increasing our chance of good weather to give the best opportunities for identifying the moorland plants.
We hope to get young people involved in writing a report using the MICCI data for this year that we are looking to publish at the start of 2020.
Take a look at our website to find out how young people can get involved.