In February this year, we celebrated 20 years of Moors for the Future Partnership. The Partnership started as a Heritage Lottery Funded project on 15 February 2003, from this first project it has grown into a programme using evidence-based conservation – alongside innovative science and public engagement – to restore the uplands across the South Pennines SAC and extending into the West Pennines. The restoration area covered spans from Staffordshire in the south up to Ilkley in the north, and includes iconic moorlands such as Kinder Scout, Bleaklow, Marsden Moor and Saddleworth.

Kinder peatland

Over the years, the Partnership has raised £50 million of investment and delivered restoration to over 35 square kilometres of bare and eroding peat.
Our conservation works season runs over the winter months, to allow breeding birds in the uplands to nest in peace and the figures from our most recent season are now in! In the past year, from April 2022 to March 2023, we have:

  • Completed a full season of conservation works across 21 different sites located in the Peak District and South Pennines
  • Spread 1358 bags of brash (chopped up heather) to help protect areas of exposed peat, the brash forms a protective layer over vulnerable peat.
  • Revegetated 6.7 hectares of peatlands, this includes spreading lime, seed and fertiliser which will help to keep the peat in place on the hill before bog specialist species start to return.
  • Installed nearly 5,000 gully blocks which will help to slow the flow of water from the moors, hold small pools of water behind the mini-dams and help to capture peat sedimentation that is being washed off the hill.
  • Planted an area the size of 270 football pitches (with over 500,000 sphagnum moss plants. A huge thank you to our volunteers from our new 1% for the Planet Partners, Intelligent Facility Solutions, and to the Worley Foundation for battling the elements to help plant 12,500 of these sphagnum plugs!

Sphagnum plug planting

  • Restored 65 metres of footpath to help people keep to paths and therefore allow  more space for ground-nesting birds to breed.
    These collective works have an estimated avoided loss of 502 tonnes CO2e of carbon.
  • Completed two annual surveys with the help of 43 volunteers:
    • The dipwell campaign, carried out to measure the water table. Volunteers and staff monitored 41 different dipwell clusters to measure the level of water in various areas across the Peak District and South Pennines.
    • The vegetation survey, carried out to monitor vegetation changes across our working area. Our team of staff and volunteers spent 35 days monitoring 419 quadrats that will provide an insight into whether vegetation close to site works is changing.
  • Released research and monitoring compiled over the six-year MoorLIFE 2020 project, spanning peat pipes to ecosystem services to bunding. The full portfolio of research is available on the website.
  • Visited 36 events with the Bogtastic Van, spreading the word about the beauty of blanket bogs! We have also launched our ‘Working in Partnership’ video, available to enjoy on the homepage of the website.
  • Welcomed new partners to 1% for the Planet
    Moors for the Future Partnership is an environmental partner to 1% for the Planet. We have been partnered with local creative agency, Coldhouse Collective since 2019 and have recently welcomed Sheffield-based Intelligent Facility Solutions who joined us on the hill for a series of volunteer sphagnum planting sessions this winter.

Sphagnum planting

  • Delivered a conservation programme worth £3.3 million, including innovative communications, research and monitoring and on the ground capital works. A huge thank you to the funders that have facilitated this work:
    • EU LIFE Programme
    • Severn Trent
    • United Utilities
    • Yorkshire Water
    • Environment Agency
    • Esmee Fairbairn
    • Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council
    • Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council
    • Worley Foundation
    • Donations received through 1% for the Planet and Peak District National Park Foundation
    • Defra
    • Natural England
    • RSPB
    • University of York
    • Peak Walkers
    • NERC (via University of Manchester)
    • Peak District National Park Authority

    The work goes on – there’s still much to do – but we can definitely see a difference in the areas where we’ve worked. Thanks to all of our supporters, volunteers and partners for everything you’ve done over the last two decades!

    If the idea of 1% for the Planet interests you or you are interested in supporting the work of Moors for the Future Partnership in other ways, please contact