Lord Chris Smith, Chair of the Environment Agency launched our new Community Science project on 24th May 2013. The project will involve local communities in the Peak District National Park in gathering valuable scientific data on their local moor by becoming "Moor Citizens".
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Edale-based project will contribute to national climate change initiatives. The project aims to provide a learning and discovery environment for volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds and improve scientific understanding of how the moors are affected by environmental factors, including climate change.
Moor Citizens can take part in anything fom long-term monitoring to surveys that can be completed in a single afternoon.The project is also recruiting volunteers for seasonal surveys of moorland wildlife to help identify the impact of climate change on particular species.
“The importance of our moorlands in the fight against climate change and their value to surrounding communities is huge," Lord Smith said. "This is why I feel that involving people, through this project, in monitoring the health of their local moorland is vital and why my organisation is fully supporting this partnership working.”
Moor Citizen, Peter Struggles said: “I’ve always loved the great outdoors – walking and climbing. On retirement it was great to see this local citizen science opportunity. It links my passion for the local area with doing something useful for these stunning moors with like-minded people.”
We will collate and analyse all data and make the results available online. Longer term volunteers will receive free training and get updates on their site and information about how their results compare with other monitoring locations - creating links between local moorland communities.
Lord Chris Smith with Moors for the Future staff and project partners
The Community Science project is supported by the Environment Agency, Natural England, National Trust, Severn Trent Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water.