Yorkshire Water invests £1.5M in north Yorkshire peat
Yorkshire Water has invested £1.5 million and worked alongside Yorkshire Peat Partnership (YPP) at the Swinton Estate near Masham to improve the quality of Yorkshire's drinking water.
Peat has been laid down over the uplands of Yorkshire over thousands of years forming vast, wet areas known as blanket bog. Healthy blanket bog helps filter water before it reaches Yorkshire’s reservoirs, but damaged peatlands release particles of organic matter that discolours drinking water and is expensive to remove.
In the 1970s, much of the county’s peatland was damaged by drainage channels – known as grips – dug to improve the land for agriculture. As well as drying out the peat, this led to widespread erosion in the form of gullies, bare peat and peat hags – steep walls of peat where wind and water have undercut the vegetation.
Yorkshire Water, YPP and the Swinton Estate have been working together to repair this damage and restore blanket bog at Colsterdale above Masham, near Harrogate.
The works include blocking 30km of grips and gullies to help keep the bog wet and stop sediment being washed into the water supply; reducing the slope on peat hags to prevent further erosion; and replanting bare peat and peat hags to return the bog to its natural peat forming state.
Also included is an important monitoring study looking at the effectiveness of inoculating areas of moorlands with key species of sphagnum.
Andrew Walker, catchment strategy manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Sphagnum is a moss that is a key component of blanket bog which can hold over eight times its weight in water. It helps not only to keep the moors wetter, and the water draining from it cleaner, but it can also help reduce the flow of water off the moors, thereby helping to reduce the impacts of flooding further downstream.
“This study, working with Manchester University, will help inform and guide land managers as to what species, techniques and density of planting will have the most impact, and we are extremely grateful to the estate and the head keeper in particular, for allowing us access to the monitoring sites over the coming months and years.”
The work will help improve the moor biodiversity and habitat. The UK holds 13 per cent of the world's blanket bog, which is a key store of carbon, and if properly managed has the potential to sequester and lock up carbon.
Dr Tim Thom, peat programme manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which leads YPP, said: “It’s been tremendous working with Yorkshire Water and the Swinton Estate. We’re looking forward to expanding that work with our research into Sphagnum planting techniques that will help improve peatland restoration across Yorkshire.”
Swinton Estate added: “We are delighted to be helping with this restoration work and the aim of the preservation of this valuable habitat for the wildlife and public alike.”
- Mismanagement of water behind Syria conflict The conflict in Syria is the culmination of decades of mismanagement of water and land resources, according to an academic... Read More >
- CCWater urges more help for struggling customers ahead of bill rise More water companies should pour some of their own profits into schemes designed to help cash-strapped households with... Read More >
- Yorkshire Water announces £30M Saltend WWTW investment Yorkshire Water is to invest £30M in its wastewater treatment works in Saltend, Hull to improve the site's operation. Read More >
- Shifting the dial on drinking water challenges Ahead of WWT Drinking Water Quality Conference, Anglian Water's director of water services, Paul Valleley, provides the... Read More >
- Over-pressurisation: A serious risk for lime storage silos Hycontrol managing director Nigel Allen warns that many lime storage silos are disasters waiting to happen, and steps need... Read More >
- Why valve checks are an essential part of summer maintenance Fraser Higgins, Durapipe UK industrial product manager, explains why valves should not be overlooked as part of the summer... Read More >
- Case Study: Pumping up quality at Burnham Jetty A year's worth of planning, seamless collaboration and technical expertise were crucial to the success of a complex... Read More >
- Lead Pipe Removal: Taking the Lead Lead pipes represent a proven risk to water quality and people's health - but 50 years after they were banned for new use,... Read More >