A Peak District peatland conservation partnership has received a prestigious award for its moorland restoration, science and public engagement work.

Severn Trent and Moors for the Future Partnership were named winners of the Climate and Nature Action 2030 Award at the CIEEM Awards 2023. The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK, Ireland and abroad. The award recognises individuals or organisations who are having the most impact in raising awareness, engaging others and/or leading action in relation to the climate emergency and/or the biodiversity crisis.

For the last 20 years, Moors for the Future Partnership has protected damaged blanket bog habitats across the Peak District and South Pennines. It provides evidence-based conservation, backed up by innovative public engagement.

The Partnership and Severn Trent received the award for the Moor Water project, through which they are planting 600 hectares (equivalent to over 840 football pitches) of sphagnum moss in the Upper Derwent valley. In turn, moss is expected to improve the quality of the water flowing into the reservoirs and slow water down, holding it for longer on the moors contributing to water security and natural flood management. And, as the moss grows, it will trap carbon dioxide from the air and store it as peat.

Chris Dean, head of Moors for the Future Partnership said: “This award demonstrates the importance of partnership working. Working with Severn Trent on the Moor Water project has enabled us to continue all three crucial strands of our work, funding not just the planting of so much sphagnum, but also the public engagement that enables us to inspire the public to protect these important moorlands, and the work of our scientists to monitor the improvements to the landscape. It’s this kind of all-round view of restoration work that this award celebrates.”

Principal Ecologist and Biodiversity Team Lead at Severn Trent, said: “We’re thrilled to have the Moor Water project recognised in this way. Through this project and our Great Big Nature Boost, we’re working to create the right conditions for biodiversity to thrive. Restoring moorlands creates a better home for nature on the moors, with species such as curlew, mountain hare and green hairstreak butterflies returning to these once degraded habitats.”