This is an archived press release
Friday 29 June 2007
29 June 2007
Floods & climate-change - HRH the Prince of Wales visits Moorland Centre
HRH the Prince of Wales swooped into Edale and saw how vital moorland restoration work can help reduce flood-risks before going on to see flood-afflicted areas in Sheffield.
The Prince helicoptered in to see the Peak District National Park’s pioneering, eco-friendly Moorland Centre – home of the £4.7m Moors for the Future project which is helping combat flood-risks as well as climate-change.
The Prince took part in a round-table discussion on moorland-management with the Moors for the Future Partnership, which is restoring some of these rare, internationally-important landscapes. Major landowners, farmers, gamekeepers, conservationists and research scientists told him about their work.
Moors for the Future chair Lynn Crowe explained: “The management of the uplands is so closely interlinked with what happens in the water catchment areas. Our work, by stabilising moorlands, enables it to soak up water as well as carbon, helping alleviate flooding and global warming.”
British moorlands store more carbon than all the forests in the UK and France, but have been eroded through centuries of pollution, over-grazing, drainage and wild fires.
National Park Authority chair Tony Hams said: “It’s an huge honour that the Prince of Wales visited the Moorland Centre to learn at first hand about the important work of the National Park and its partners in Moors for the Future in moorland regeneration which has such an important impact on major issues such as flooding, climate-change and ecology.”
The £1m centre – roofed with sedum turf and heated from the earth – was opened last year as both a visitor centre and the UK’s first moorland research base.
While there, the Prince also presented the David Arnold-Forster Trust Award, a prestigious national accolade for sustainable hill farming, to local farming sisters Andrea Jolley and Kathleen Birkinshaw, who run the National Trust-owned Ashes Farm, Derwent.
A second David Arnold-Forster Trust Award was presented to the Peak District National Park’s Environmental Quality Mark scheme, an award for local businesses and farms which make outstanding contributions to the environment.
Edale residents gave the Prince a warm welcome and schoolchildren showed him the bog-garden they had planted and care for. The Prince also saw the handiwork of the Dry Stone Wallers Association, of which he is patron, and he was delighted to receive a miniature dry stone wall from the Derbyshire branch.
Earlier, the Prince, who has many farming interests, was in the Staffordshire Moorlands to launch two new schemes aimed at helping Peak District farmers.
The first was a new ‘Peak Choice’ brand, a farmer-owned co-operative selling premium beef and lamb fed on the heather moors and herb pastures of the National Park.
The second was the Peak District Dairy Wagon, an innovative mobile training facility for dairy farmers to try out dairy processing, using their own milk, to create and market high-value products such as cheese, yoghurts, butter and ice-cream.