Help Measure Peat in the North Pennines

Survey work undertaken by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership is providing important clues about the role restored peatlands play in reducing the severity of climate change. Members of the public are invited to help collect this vital data at a free event on Sunday 24 July.

The big bad bogs of the North Pennines, 128 kb
The big bad bogs of the North Pennines
© Dan Bailey

The North Pennines is England's second largest AONB, and home to some of the wildest upland and most extensive peat bogs south of the Border. For more see this UKH article.

Volunteers peat testing , 130 kb
Volunteers peat testing

Over the past four years, the AONB Partnership has blocked more than 1,000 kilometres of moorland drains with peat dams to restore important blanket bog habitats in the North Pennines. The aim of this work is to slow the rapid flow of rainwater along the drainage channels and prevent further erosion of the peat. Dried out peat releases CO2 into the atmosphere, so the restoration of peatlands has a role to play in mitigating climate change.

Members of the public can now get involved in helping to increase the understanding of the North Pennine peat bogs at the AONB Partnership's How Deep is Our Peat? event at the Warcop Military Training Area. Volunteers will be able to help the AONB Partnership collect new data on peat depth which will give a much more accurate picture of how much carbon is stored in the peat.

Full hill walking kit is required and the 13km of walking is graded 'hard' (steep, strenuous climbs and rough moorland – boots essential, they say). The event is not suitable for children, and no dogs are allowed. Participants are asked to bring a packed lunch.

The event is free but booking is necessary – contact the AONB Partnership office on 01388 528801 or email

How Deep is Our Peat? Warcop Military Training Area, Cumbria, Sunday 24 July 9am-4pm

This is just one of more than 30 events taking place as part of the North Pennines AONB 2011 Events Programme; for details see their website.

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