SEI Contact:

Sarah West

Telephone: +44 1904 324577

Time-frame: 2013–2017

Moors for the Future

SEI Project Peak District
Photo: From top of Kinder Scout - Peak District National Park. R.Pateman

SEI is working together with the Moors for the Future Partnership to design a Community Science Project in the Peak District National Park and surrounding areas.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the aim of the project is to get local communities and visitors to the area to collect data over a long period of time to help understand how moorlands and the species they support are responding to climate change. Not only will this provide valuable information about the impacts of climate change but also engage people, with varying levels of previous experience and time to commit, with the natural environment and raise awareness of potential threats to it.

SEI has been involved in developing survey protocols and supporting materials for three strands of monitoring. Firstly, for volunteers who have a lot of time to commit to the project, we are establishing fixed sites which will be visited repeatedly over many years to collect data on environmental variables which might be affected by a changing climate, such as soil moisture, peat depth and water table depth.

The second strand of monitoring aims to examine species’ responses to climate change and is, again, for people who are willing to commit time to surveying and who will be trained in specific monitoring techniques. The aim is to introduce a new survey focussed on a different species or species group every year for a number of years, which have been selected because they are likely to be affected by climate change. This year we have been developed a bumblebee transect survey. Data collected from this will be used to examine whether the abundance of bumblebees is altering and whether climate is a factor affecting this.

The final strand of monitoring is focussed on collecting information about species’ responses to climate change but is aimed at people with less time to spare or visitors to the area. For example, this year we have launched a postcard survey of three bird species. People can pick up a postcard from a Visitor Centre which has information about the species we are interested in. They can then fill in the details of if, when and where they saw these species and post the postcard back or enter the information on the online recording system we have developed. This will give us information on whether the distribution of species or the timing of events, such as the arrival of migratory species, is changing and whether this in linked to changes in the climate.

For more information about the project, please visit