Moors for the Future – Peak District

Westend Moor across to Grinah and Barrow Stones
Westend Moor across to Grinah and Barrow Stones

The Dark Peak is a beautiful wilderness, where solitude can be found and where if we try, we can see some of the most evocative natural wildlife in the country.

Anyone that has walked in the Dark peak for a number of years will have seen the transformation taking place. From a smelly oozy peat bog that made a walk a test of endurance and reduced grown men to tears, the landscape is now all soft grasses, ponds, wildflowers, mosses, bird life and mammals.

It really is a joy to walk across the moorlands, Yes its wet, but so is Manchester on any given day of the year. Man up and put on the waterproofs.

There is a great community of people who love the Dark Peak, I am one of them Our help is needed. Not money. What is needed are your eyes. What wildlife can you observe when you are out in the Dark Peak. What wonderful encounters can you record. Here is a memory of one encounter I had….

The thrill and awe of sighting a Mountain Hare in its winter cloak, white against the gritstone and dark skies. To stand there and just look at the beauty of that creature, not daring to move lest it take flight and the vision would be lost.

Dark Peak Walks

Moors for the Future (MFTF) need our observations about what we see. It really is important that they can record what is happening on the moors. The organisation is responsible for the regeneration of the moorlands we love. To help achieve this they have asked for walkers, runners, bird watchers, anyone who visits the moors to send them details of the life they see each time they are out. MFTF have produced apps to help anyone identify plants, birds animals mammals, reptiles and have developed an easy interface where you can log your finds.

This makes us all central in the development of the moors, you can even have your own monitoring site, volunteer to help, how good is that.

I for one am up for it and I would urge you all to join me. If anyone wants help then just contact me here, paulbesley@gmail.com

Below are some websites and pages in my blog that help explain everything.

The Mountain Hare

Red Grouse

Cotton Grass

Moors for the Future Apps

The Moors for the Future community website has all the information you could want and explains how we can all take part in the surveys. Click the links below

Moors for the Future Community Science

Right now MFTF are really interested in Hare sightings. If you see any then go here and log the details.

Hare Log

Survey instructions. How to take part.

This is fun and helps a great cause. I might even put in for my own monitoring site. You can volunteer for loads of different tasks the team needs doing.

Author: Paul Besley

Writer I have spent most of my life escaping into the Peak District National Park, I have grown to love the solitude it can bring. I also have an interest in the growing field of psychogeography particularly, in post-industrial landscapes. I am the author of Dark Peak Walks published by Cicerone Press. I am also studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

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