As the sun rose over the Hope Valley, Kinder Scout made an impressive, and iconic, background as the history, heritage and future of the National Parks were in the spotlight on BBC Radio 4 recently. Moors for the Future Partnership played host to BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme, Today, on Wednesday 28 August. Today’s presenter Martha Kearney was based at the Partnership’s headquarters at the Peak District National Park Authority’s Moorland Centre, in the Hope Valley village of Edale to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the UK’s first National Park.

The Today Programme broadcasting from Edale, Moors for the Future offices
The Partnership’s Head of Programme Delivery, Chris Dean, spoke about the importance of sphagnum moss as a source of natural flood management. ‘One of the issues we have in the hills above Whaley Bridge and 22 other communities is that we have the most degraded upland peak area anywhere in Europe,’ he explained, ‘We lost most of the covering of sphagnum moss, which takes off the living bog layer, leaving the peat below very fragile and subject to erosion, an environment which responds much faster to flooding.’

Chris demonstrated the water-holding properties of sphagnum (up to 20 times its weight): ‘If you imagine 750 sq km of upper moorland sandwiched between the towns of the Northern Powerhouse, adding a layer of sphagnum to that will make a great improvement.’

The broadcast explored the influence, role and future of our National Parks, featuring interviews with Jake Fiennes and Andrew Critchlow (discussing agriculture in National Parks), Yvonne Witter (emphasising engaging interest in enjoying National Parks), Julian Glover (underlining the proposals contained in his report on the future of the National Parks), Sarah Ward and Mark Cocker (highlighting the inspiration that authors, poets and artists draw from the landscape), Tony Juniper (remarking on the UK’s potential to be an environmental leader) and Tony Gates (emphasising putting the National Parks into the hearts and minds of the public).

If you missed the live broadcast, listen again. See below for a full breakdown of interview timings.

Norfolk Broads Reedbed Management at 10:40>
Chris Dean (Moors for the Future Partnership) at 11:30>
Roger Harrabin (BBC) on Glover Proposals at 38:20>
Pre-record with Suzanne Fletcher (PDNP) and Mark Cocker at 45:40>
Jake Fiennes and Andrew Critchlow (NFU) on agriculture in Parks at 1:19:45>
Yvonne Witter (SoS member and Mosaic) at 1:40:40
Julian Glover at 1:51:40>
Sarah Ward and Mark Cocker, Peak District literary influences 2:19:20>
Tony Juniper at 2:36:18>
Tony Gates, National Parks spokesperson at 2:51:51>
South Downs Dark Skies: 2:58:00>