England

Damaged moorland 'transformed' by partnership

Moor House, North Teesdale Image copyright North Pennines AONB
Image caption Moor House, in Teesdale, is one of the areas to have benefited from the project

Damaged moorland has been turned into moss-covered landscape as part of a project to reverse the fortunes of the North Pennines' eroding peat bogs.

Sites in County Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland have benefitted from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership scheme.

It has seen 117 hectares of bare peat being restored.

The team has submitted a multi-million pound funding bid to transform a further 600 hectares over five years.

Alistair Lockett, peatland conservation assistant with the partnership, said: "The aim was to get bare peat revegetated with Sphagnum moss, cotton grass, heather and other blanket bog species.

"This, used alongside other steps, such as fencing off the land to protect it from grazing, and altering the hydrology, has worked better than we expected in such a short time span."

The partnership said bare peat has a "damaging impact on the environment through the release of greenhouse gasses".

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