A GROUP dedicated on restoring vital peatlands, particularly in North Yorkshire, has reflected on a successful year.

Achievements of the 2020 to 2021 season for The Yorkshire Peat Partnership (YPP) include bringing more than 5,000 hectares of peatland into restoration management.

It blocked 156 km of eroding grips and gullies, planted over 76,000 sphagnum moss plugs, 132,000 crowberry plugs and 173,000 cottongrass plugs and managed to survey more than 6,500 hectares of peatland on foot.

This important work helps to re-establish healthy blanket bog in Yorkshire’s drained and damaged uplands.

As well as helping to hold water and peat on the moors and keeping millennia of carbon locked in the ground, this provides valuable habitat for some fascinating and beautiful wildlife.

By replanting peatlands with native bog vegetation, it stabilises the peat and protects it from erosion.

The wet conditions created allow important food species like cranefly to thrive, supporting the food web.

It also produces cover for ground nesting birds and shelter for invertebrates and peat work helps connect wild networks that allow species like otters to move between river catchments.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s peat programme manager, Dr Tim Thom said: “Blanket bog covers around 96,000 hectares in North Yorkshire – our restoration work is making so much space for nature to survive and thrive.

"Ecosystem services are an important consideration but when we discuss wild places purely in terms of the benefits they afford us, we diminish them.

"Our beautiful Yorkshire blanket bogs are worth looking after.”

Global Peatlands Initiative coordinator Dianna Kopansky commented:

“It is wonderful to see peatlands being recognised and valued for all the roles they play as a holistic ecosystem.

"This work by YPP to restore Yorkshire’s blanket bogs is so important not just for Yorkshire, but in developing and demonstrating restoration techniques and best practice that can be used across geographies.”