Youngsters learn about moorlands

High Peak pupils will be visiting the moors next week to learn about climate change.

Students from New Mills School and Chapel–in–le–Frith High School are taking part in the sixth annual Moorland Indicators of Climate Change Initiative as part of National Science and Engineering Week.

The 11 to 18–year–olds will conduct practical experiments to investigate the impact of climate change and the effects of human activities on the sensitive moorland environment.

Co–ordinator Chris Robinson, of the Peak District National Park Authority’s Learning and Discovery Team, explained: “This is an innovative project involving young people in investigating peat moorlands’ potential to help tackle climate change.

“The students’ research will help the moors for the Future Partnership, which is now carrying out large–scale restoration of the upper moorlands through re–wetting the peat and regenerating vegetation such as cotton–grass and cloudberry.”

Healthy peat moorlands could retain more carbon than all the forests in the UK and France combined.

However centuries of human activities have damaged the peat through pollution, wildfires and drainage which led to severe loss of vegetation and erosion.

Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network is helping to fund the project, which enables students to conduct a weather survey through an OPAL information and experimentation pack.

The field trips will be supported by the National Park’s Learning and Discovery Team, the Ranger Service, Moors for the Future Partnership, the Moorland Discovery Centre and Longdendale Environmental Centre.