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Rangers to help climate change research

This is an archived press release

Friday 7 March 2008

7 March 2008

Rangers to help climate change research

Peak District National Park volunteer rangers will be helping important climate change research on Peak District moorland over the next nine months.

The rangers will be measuring moorland water tables on a scale never conducted before.

Climate change is threatening to dry out sensitive moorlands, but moorland restoration can help to raise water tables. This will have positive effects for flood alleviation and carbon storage.

On March 11, the Moors for the Future Partnership, Environment Agency and University of Manchester are launching a major project to investigate the water tables on Bleaklow and Kinder Scout and look at effects of moorland restoration.

The national park volunteer rangers will be involved in an intensive programme, starting by installing more than 400 dipwells – instruments buried in the ground to measure the depth from the ground surface to the water table.  The rangers will then return to the dipwells every month to collect data.

University of Manchester researchers Dr Tim Allott and Dr Martin Evans will use these water table measures and combine them with high-precision digital terrain models to assess effects of restoration on water tables.

Dr Tim Allott said: “This exciting and novel research will help us understand how moorland restoration can be used to adapt to climate change. Moorland water tables also influence run-off from the uplands during heavy rainfall events, and so this work may also contribute to our understanding of downstream flooding.”  

Andrew Jones, of the Moors for the Future research team, added: “The ranger service has worked with us on a number of our research projects in the past, and it’s great to have them on board again. This is a unique project, the water table of the Peak District moors has never been mapped on this scale before. The project requires the measurement of water table depth at each of the 400+ dipwells on the same day each month.  Without the help of the rangers we simply wouldn’t be able to take the measurements concurrently, which is vital to the success of the project.”

The project will be launched on March 11, from 11am-1pm on Snake Pass with installation of the first dipwells and a training session for all rangers.

The project is supported by £20,000 from the Environment Agency

This is an archived press release

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