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The Prince of Wales to visit pioneering Moorland Centre

This is an archived press release

Monday 18 June 2007

18 June 2007

The Prince of Wales to visit pioneering Moorland Centre

HRH The Prince of Wales is to visit the innovative Moorland Centre – at the forefront of the battle against climate-change – on Friday June 29.

The £1m centre, in Edale at the heart of the Peak District National Park, was officially opened last September by the Duke of Devonshire.

The Prince will see the building’s eco-friendly features which reflect its moorland setting, including a “green” roof of sedum turf, a roof-top waterfall and a heating system powered by the earth.

HRH will also experience its dual role as an interactive visitor centre and the UK’s only dedicated moorland research base. This includes the Moors for the Future Project which is carrying out the vital restoration of 3.5km of damaged moorland, including Bleaklow and Black Hill, crossed by thousands of walkers each year.

Tony Hams, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority which leads the Moors for the Future Partnership, said: “We welcome The Prince of Wales’ visit, which will shine a spotlight on this rare, fragile environment that is nevertheless a frontline defence against climate-change.”

Edale residents have been invited to celebrate the visit and view the Royal Party’s arrival, and local schoolchildren will show HRH their conservation work.

The Prince is also due to make several presentations to local people. These include the prestigious David Arnold-Forster Trust Award – for excellence in sustainable hill farming – to sisters Andrea Jolley and Kathleen Birkinshaw, who run Ashes Farm, Derwent, using traditional methods.

In addition, HRH will present a special award to the National Park’s Environmental Quality Mark scheme, which recognizes local businesses making outstanding contributions to the environment. And he will meet EQM award-holders Judith Hancock of Castlegate Stud Farm and Robert and Sarah Helliwell of Upper Booth Farm.

The Prince of Wales will also see a demonstration of dry-stone walling by the Derbyshire branch of the Dry Stone Wallers Association.

Moorland peat is the nation's largest carbon store, holding 3 billion tonnes – far more than all the woodlands in the UK and France put together. Centuries of air-pollution, fires, over-grazing and man-made drainage has meant barren moorlands losing 380,000 tonnes of carbon a year through erosion.

Scientists estimate that restoring UK peatlands could save 400,000 tonnes of carbon - equivalent to the emissions from 84,000 cars a year.

Moors for the Future has been largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and co-ordinated by the Peak District National Park Authority, National Trust, Natural England, United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, Derbyshire County Council, Sheffield City Council, the Environment Agency and moorland owners.

This is an archived press release

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