Environmental Monitoring

Environmental Monitoring

Community Science volunteers are recording information from the project's eight Environmental Monitoring sites. The sites are each one hectare in size (100 m x 100 m) and are used to measure variables including: Rainfall, peat depth, water table depth, humidity, air temperature, and vegetation. Each site also have a wildlife camera to record any animals which are using or passing through it.  

This short film made by one of our volunteers shows some of the tasks involved in setting up monitoring on an area of moorland, and even includes a short cameo from a mountain hare:

You can see volunteers laying out quadrats (randomly placed squares used as a 'sample' of the moorland), installing equipment like peat anchors (for measuring peat depth), dipwells (for measuring water table) and a rain gauge (for measuring rainfall) amongst other things. Data from this kit is downloaded monthly and used to see how the moorland is responding to climate change in the long term. You can find out more about the kit we use on the Tempcon website.

The film also shows the initial survey of the plants on the site - our volunteers answer questions like: Which species of plants are present? How tall are they? What condition are they in? Are there any signs of wildlife? This information will be collected every year to see if there is a trend or pattern of changes.

By collecting this kind of information over the long term we can start to get a really good understanding of what is happening on the moor: Is it changing, and if so, how?

Studying the impacts of climate change is a long term process - but you can see some of the results collected by volunteers on our blog or by reading our preliminary results report.

This monitoring is ideally suited to groups or individuals who are local to our sites and who would like to collect data over the long term. If you're interested in getting involved as an individual then please browse our volunteering opportunities and sign up as an environmental monitoring volunteer. If you have a group which may be interested in adopting a site, then please contact us by e-mail.

Where possible, we aim to make Community Science data accessible to all. If you're interested in using the information collected by the project, please do get in touch.

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