Peak District conservation group spotlights blanket bogs in new online awareness campaign

A pioneering environmental partnership based in Edale has launched a new online campaign to teach people about the many wonders of the Peak District’s blanket bogs.

By Ed Dingwall
Monday, 24th January 2022, 6:38 pm

Moors for the Future commissioned a series of five videos to raise awareness of the many fantastic, and often surprising, things that peat moors do for us, and will be releasing them fortnightly throughout the spring.

The organisation hopes to get its Bogtastic Experience programme back on the road in 2022 after months of Covid disruption, but in the meantime the videos should help carry its message to a wider audience and inspire them to care for the landscape.

The first one was shared on Friday, January 21, and focuses on the power of peat to absorb and store large amounts of carbon dioxide which might otherwise stay in the atmosphere and contribute to the climate crisis.

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Young ranger Robyn Rooney plays a starring role in the first video.

Engagement officer Jody Vallance said: “We hope that the videos will help people understand the different and myriad ways in which blanket bog habitats are precious.

“These videos will be one of our tools for inspiring people to love and look after the moors. For people who do not visit and appreciate the moors, it’s a little window into why they are so amazing.”

She added: “Many of these bogs are degraded, so they are carbon emitters, releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. We’re working hard to halt this process by restoring them.

“Once they’re fully restored, with plenty of sphagnum moss growing, they have the potential to start taking carbon dioxide in and store it in the peat, making them carbon sinks and therefore helping with the fight against climate change.”

The Moors for the Future Partnership works to raise ecological awareness and help people engage with landscape conservation. (Photo: Graham Dunn)

The video is presented by Hope Valley College student Robyn Rooney, a member of the Peak District National Park’s junior ranger programme working with the partnership in Edale.

Jody said: “While we were developing the videos we really wanted the stars to be from a wide range of backgrounds and in particular we wanted young people to be involved.”

After a year of planning, production on the videos was hit by delays due to weather and the bird nesting season, but their perseverance paid off and the young star played a key role in holding it all together.

Jody said: “Robyn was a complete professional, she learned her lines perfectly, was composed and confident, and she was really tough.”

"You can’t tell in the finished video but we were all really cold because it was drizzly, chilly weather. She was totally stoic and patient through the many takes – a future star.”

The campaign has been made possible by funders of MoorLIFE 2020: the EU LIFE Programme, Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent, and United Utilities, and landowners the National Trust.

For updates on future videos covering flooding, biodiversity, water quality and the landscape’s effect on wellbeing, follow Moors for the Future on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Anyone interested in becoming a junior ranger in the Peak District National Park can find out more information at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/learning-about/junior-rangers.

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