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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Restoration of degraded Molinia caerulea dominated moorland in the Peak District National Park Eastern moorlands, Derbyshire, England

Published source details

Smith D. & Bird J. (2005) Restoration of degraded Molinia caerulea dominated moorland in the Peak District National Park Eastern moorlands, Derbyshire, England. Conservation Evidence, 2, 101-102


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Restore or create upland heath/moorland Farmland Conservation

A small before-and-after study in 2004-2005 on an area of purple moor grass Molina caerulea-dominated moorland in northern England (Smith & Bird 2005) found that mowing and flail cutting along with livestock and wild red deer Cervus elaphus grazing could be used to control the dominance of purple moor grass and help restore heather Calluna vulgaris moorland. Mowing and flail cutting resulted in strong purple moor grass re-growth in spring, which was then heavily grazed, suppressing grass growth. The study also found one or two pairs of northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus bred on the area of restored moorland, whereas none had previously bred in the area. An area re-seeded with heather had heather seedlings from mid-June onwards. One hundred hectares of moorland were fenced to exclude livestock. Half of the grassland within the exclosure was burned on 9 March 2004 to reduce the dominance of purple moor grass, and 14 ha of the burned area was flail cut on 17 March 2004 to remove the burnt grass tussocks. A 3 ha area was sown with heather seed (40 kg/ha) in May 2004. In spring 2005 a further 4.5 ha area was flail cut and re-sown with heather at 40-60 kg/ha. In 2005, sheep grazed the exclosure until the beginning of June, following which the exclosure gates were opened until mid-June to allow free grazing. Cattle (63 livestock units) then grazed the area from late June. Sheep are now permanently excluded from the area.

 

Restore or create shrubland Bird Conservation

A small before-and-after study on an area of purple moor grass Molina caerulea dominated moorland in northern England (Smith & Bird 2005) in 2004-5 found that one or two pairs of northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus bred on a an area of restored moorland, whereas none had previously bred in the area. The moorland was mowed and flailed in 2004, which encouraged grass re-growth and subsequent heavy grazing by both livestock and wild red deer Cervus elaphus.