Building Blocks – Next Steps in Gully Blocking is a 24-month project to continue restoration works to address the biodiversity in the South Pennine Moors SAC, improve the condition of the blanket bogs and reduce water discolouration.
The South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA) includes the major moorland blocks of the South Pennines from Ilkley in the North to Leek and Matlock in the South. It covers extensive tracts of semi-natural moorland habitats including upland heath and blanket mire. The diverse mosaic of habitats contributes greatly to ornithological interests, which includes birds of prey and waders.
The hydrological integrity of the blanket bog habitat in the SAC has been adversely affected by a range of factors; principally historic air pollution, wild fires and land use / management practices. This has led to:
Since 2003, projects undertaken by Moors for the Future Partnership have installed over 30,500 gully blocks including timber, stone, peat and heather dams, to slow water run-off; often alongside planting of sphagnum moss, the essential bog-building vegetation.
This project will inform the Partnership’s work going forward, leading to a prioritised list of the next 100,000 gully blocks to be installed, and taking this important work into the future.