Young people conduct climate change research on Peak District moors

This is an archived press release

Friday 22 March 2013

More than a hundred secondary school students conducted climate change research on the Peak District and Pennine moors during National Science and Engineering Week March 18 -22.

The students were participating in the sixth annual Moorland Indicators of Climate Change Initiative (MICCI), led by Peak District National Park educators, rangers and research staff.

The 11-18 year-olds from 11 schools, mainly in urban areas surrounding the national park, conducted practical experiments to investigate the impact of climate change and the effects of human activities on the sensitive moorland environment.

Co-ordinator Chris Robinson, of the Peak District National Park Authority’s Learning and Discovery Team, explained: “This is an innovative project involving young people in investigating peat moorlands’ potential to help tackle climate change.

“The students’ research will help the Moors for the Future Partnership, which is now carrying out large-scale restoration of the upper moorlands through re-wetting the peat and regenerating vegetation such as cotton-grass and cloudberry.”

Healthy peat moorlands could retain more carbon than all the forests in the UK and France combined. But centuries of human activities have damaged the peat through pollution, wildfires and drainage which led to severe loss of vegetation and erosion.

Each school was given a moorland site to investigate, with the students’ findings being collated and analysed using handheld sensors and GPS technology.

This year the participation of other national parks in the MICCI project across the UK has grown to include the Cairngorms, Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast, Northumberland, North York Moors, Exmoor and Dartmoor.

Continuing to help fund the project for the third year is the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network which is enabling the students to conduct a weather survey through provision of an OPAL information and experimentation pack. 

The field trips are supported by the National Park’s Learning and Discovery Team, the Ranger service, Moors for the Future Partnership, the Moorland Discovery Centre and Longdendale Environmental Centre.

Schools taking part included Kirk Hallam College, Ilkeston; Long Eaton School; Honley High School, Holmfirth; King Ecgbert School, Sheffield; Painsley Catholic College, Cheadle; New Mills School; Chapel-en-le-Frith High School; West Hill School, Stalybridge; Longley Park Sixth Form College, Sheffield; St Thomas More Catholic School, Buxton.

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This is an archived press release

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