This is an archived press release
Monday 2 March 2015
More than 100 secondary school students will again conduct climate change research on the Peak District National Park moors from March 16 -23.
The students, aged 11-18, are from seven schools, mainly in urban areas surrounding the national park. They will conduct practical experiments to investigate the impact of climate change and the effects of human activities on the sensitive moorland environment in the eighth annual Moorlands as Indicators of Climate Change Initiative (MICCI) as part of British Science Week.
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 from across the different national parks in investigating peat moorlands’ potential to help tackle climate change.
“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 is given a moorland site to investigate and collectively they cover most of the upland areas of the Peak District National Park including part of Staffordshire near Leek, Bleaklow, Derwent and Beeley, near Bakewell. 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.”
The students’ findings in the field will be collated and analysed using handheld sensors and GPS technology. This year the participation of other national parks across the UK has grown considerably with the Cairngorms taking part from Scotland, Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast from Wales, as well as a strong contingent from across England, from Northumberland and the North York Moors to Exmoor and the New Forest.
The project continues the partnership with National Parks UK, who have worked hard to develop the MICCI presence on their website. The field trips will be 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.