|Anne Gray and Geoff Eyre at Hope, Derbyshire|
Every area of moorland is different, but the Peak District faces some unique challenges around heavily degraded peatland and high visitor pressure. Many of the rules which govern land management further North simply do not apply in Derbyshire and Cheshire, so it was useful to drop in and visit a handful of contacts on the ground for updates.
· Moors for the Future: Fascinating to catch up with Chris Dean and the MFF team in their office at Edale where we were shown around the project offices and learned about recent peatland restoration work, bird surveys and public engagement in the “bogtastic van”!
· Geoff Eyre: Geoff is always a mine of information and enthusiasm, and we were thrilled to head out for a look at some of his bracken management and heather reseeding work on the high ground above Hope. Geoff has been pioneering new moorland management techniques over the last thirty years, and we owe a great deal to his innovative, practical approach.
· Richard May: Richard has been a valuable part of the Heather Trust’s Board for several years, and it was useful to see his moorland restoration work at Piggford and High Moor near Wildboarclough. Richard raised some interesting ideas about what comes after moorland restoration, and there is great scope to explore these two moors as a case study focused on upland farming after Brexit.
· Crag Estate: The Trust has been running a heather beetle study at Crag Estate and Combs Moss near Buxton for the past five years, and we paid a quick visit to the monitoring sites which compare various treatments for beetle damage. It was interesting to catch up with Kath Longden of Penny Anderson Associates who is carrying out the ecological survey work, and also to meet with Richard Bailey, one of the gamekeepers from Crag Estate.
We hope to be back in the Peak District again soon!