Launch-date for first UK Moorland Centre

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 15 August 2006

15 August 2006

Launch-date for first UK Moorland Centre

An innovative £1m Moorland Visitor Centre, the first of its kind in the UK dedicated to the moorland landscape, is due to be officially opened by the Duke of Devonshire on September 14.

Located in Edale in the Peak District National Park, this flagship centre of the Moors for the Future Partnership will provide an important environmental learning experience for visitors, a national focus for moorland research, and community facilities.

Built near the start of the Pennine Way, the Moorland Centre’s design reflects its upland setting. It has a living roof of sedum turf, intersected by a waterfall tumbling over glass panels into a pool at the entrance. The turf acts as an eco-friendly insulator, and the building is fuelled by an energy-saving ground-source heat pump.

Inside, interactive exhibitions for all ages will explain why the Moors for the Future Project was set up to restore vast tracts of this threatened habitat, and conserve its heritage. “Listening posts” will enable visitors to hear reminiscences of people who lived and worked on the moors.

Built on the site of the outdated Fieldhead Information Centre, an adjoining farmhouse has been refurbished to create the country’s first dedicated moorland research centre.  This is a base and resource library for specialists to study this fragile eco-system threatened by centuries of pollution, erosion, fires and over-grazing. Such damage affects our water-supplies and flood-risks, and harms rare plants and wildlife – blanket bog is one of the rarest habitats in the world and could be instrumental against climate change.

Part of the centre’s work will also show the importance of economic land uses of moorland – such as farming, sporting and water catchments alongside the ecology and recreational uses.

Lynn Crowe, chair of the Moors for the Future Partnership said: “The Moorland Centre will benefit both visitors and local people. High quality displays will tell the story of the moorlands and improve peoples’ experience, knowledge and enjoyment of the landscape - which is a great national treasure and one of the world’s rarest habitats. There are now exciting plans being developed for the next phase of work to secure the legacy of 8,000 years of moorland life. The Moorland Centre will be at the heart of this important work.”

The Moors for the Future Partnership is hosted by the Peak District National Park Authority, and the Moorland Centre is a cornerstone in this £4.7m project funded largely from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Significant contributions have also come from the Peak District National Park Authority, Countryside Agency, English Nature, Defra, European Regional Development Fund, National Trust, East Midlands Development Agency, local authorities, SITA Environmental Trust, water companies and The Moorland Association, private sector moorland owners.

Due to limited space, the official launch by the Duke on September 14 is for invited representatives only. A community preview for Edale residents was held at the end of July.

This is an archived press release

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