Dove Stone

Introduction

In 2010, the RSPB formed a new partnership with United Utilities at Dove Stone in the Peak District in order to improve water quality, carbon stewardship and biodiversity as key objectives of a landscape-scale approach to peatland habitat restoration.

Description

Atmospheric pollution created by industry in the north-west over the last two centuries has left a landscape of extensive bare peat and eroding moorland in the Peak District. The damage at Dove Stone has been further compounded by burning and sheep grazing.

 

Restoration Delivered

As with many of the Peak District peatland restoration projects, the ongoing restoration at Dove Stone is happening at a huge scale. Over 100 ha of once bare peat have been successfully re-vegetated by the application of heather brash, geojute, grass seed, and a programme of lime and fertiliser application. In addition to these management techniques, grazing has either been reduced or excluded to allow vegetation recovery.

In addition, heather bale and stone gully dams have been installed to help raise the water table and reduce peat erosion.

Site Activity

Sphagnum mosses introduction trials:

Set up in consultation with Natural England, these trials include on-site translocation plus introductions primarily from non-SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) donor sites in Bowland and the North Pennines, as well as the spreading of nursery-grown Sphagnum beads. Thanks to funding from Natural England and Grantscape, beads, whole clumps and fragmented Sphagnum have been introduced to Sphagnum-free but relatively intact cotton grass dominated blanket bog in a number of trial areas. In addition to the Sphagnum itself, which will hopefully establish and provide a new population and in turn colonise the surrounding area, these introductions will create a suitable habitat for other specialist blanket bog plant and animal species to re-colonise the area. Trials have also taken place on more recently re-vegetated sites and survival rates are being monitored throughout 2012.

Partnership working

In Northern England, United Utilities, working with the RSPB has implemented the Sustainable Catchment Management Project (SCaMP) over a number of upland water catchments, including at Dove Stone. The innovative programme has seen water table restoration and revegetation work across damaged blanket bogs in the UK.

Volunteering

Developing local involvement through volunteering has been an important aspect of the project partnership. Volunteers are currently involved in two aspects of restoration: heather bale installation to raise water tables and trialling different Sphagnum restoration techniques.

Raising water tables is a key target for peatland restoration, and conservation volunteers at Dove Stone are actively creating higher water tables with spade and bale, acting as Ecosystem Engineers for the site. It is hoped that Sphagnum mosses will act as natural “Ecosystem Engineers” by actively creating and maintaining a high water table in their surroundings, as they can store up to 20 times their own weight in water and help keep the bog surface saturated.

Volunteer groups have installed over 1,400 heather bales at Dove Stone over the past year. This work is concentrating on peat pans (relatively flat areas of redeposited peat), where heather bales can significantly raise the water table. If rain follows, new pools are created and surface wetness is retained for long periods.

 

{"zoom":16,"lat":53.5267933,"lon":-1.9800046,"markers":{"0":{"lat":53.527431067,"lon":-1.980970195}}}

Project Name: Dove Stone

Organisation / Lead partner: RSPB

Location: Mossley, Greater Manchester

Conservation Status: National Park (NP)

Predominately: Upland

Peat Habitats: Blanket bog

Project Type: Restoration, Management

Year Project Began: 2010

Useful Downloads:

IUCN UK PP Conf 21
Conference 2021 Registration OpenSign up for this year's IUCN UK Peatland Programme conference ‘Peatlands in Partnership: a road to…
Butterburn flow
Nature for Climate Peatland Grant SchemeInformation about the scheme to restore English peatlands and how to apply for funding.
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021 - Save the dateSave the Dates: 13th - 16th September 2021
Minister Poots pictured with Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife
Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy ConsultationEnvironment Minister, Edwin Poots has launched a public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland…
Virtual Peatland Pavilion
Peatland Pavilion proposal for COP26 programmeOpportunity to contribute to and participate in proposing and shaping the first ever dedicated…
Diggers on Bwlch y Groes
Wales’ first carbon-funded peatland restoration project is complete!A peatland restoration project at Bwlch y Groes on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park is the…
England launches Peat Action Plan
England launches Peat Action PlanThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme welcomes the long-awaited publication of the England Peat Action…
Screenshot of PeatDatHub database
Launch of the PeatDataHub PeatDataHub is a research hub for communicating peatland science and managing peatland monitoring…
Eyes on the Bog equipment displayed on Water Works site
Eyes on the Bog monitoring at the Water Works projectJack Clough (University of East London’s) takes us through the process of installing an Eyes on the…
Helicopter flying over Moors for the Future site with restoration materials
Moors for the Future deliver biggest conservation season yet in a challenging yearAgainst a backdrop of ever-changing circumstances and a challenging year for nature, Moors for the…
Musician Sarah Smout on Fleet Moss with her cello
Yorkshire Peat Partnership: A music video on Fleet MossWith the help of Yorkshire Peat Parnership, musician Sarah Smout filmed a music video on Fleet Moss…
Cottongrass on peatland © Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project
Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project and Australian Wetlands Collaboration puts Arts Council England Funding to WorkThe ‘Mosses and Marshes’ project has newly been awarded a grant from Arts Council England.