Volunteers at National Trust Marsden Moor Estate lead the way in sharing best practice to restore the uplands
A team of volunteers at Marsden Moor, near Huddersfield in west Yorkshire, is celebrating the end of two years’ work to ensure that moorland managers have access to best practice on a key conservation issue.
Their project has focussed on the challenge presented by Purple Moor Grass¹ (Molinia caerulea) – a plant that grows naturally across British uplands but whose large tussocks have come to dominate large areas of local moors.
For several years, the volunteers have been supporting the National Trust’s Marsden Moor Estate countryside team with a weekly survey party to monitor the progress of restoration efforts. In 2013, they realised that the next phase of restoration work would be focussing on Molinia and that it was vital for staff to have access to the best knowhow in deciding the approach to take in managing it and reducing its extent.
With the backing of the National Trust, the volunteers formed a steering group which has now achieved both its major goals. First, a major conference held at Huddersfield and on Marsden Moor in September 2015 and secondly, a guidance report drawing together knowledge, experience and best practice for managing Molinia.
Craig Best, Lead Ranger for the National Trust at Marsden Moor, said:
“Both conference and publication have proved to be a great experience of partnership working and sharing best practice. There has been a huge contribution from our volunteer group – we could not have resourced this without their time, energy and expertise.