Phase 5 - Increasing Diversity


Unlike the grasses described in phase 4, many native moorland plants cannot be germinated through the sowing of seeds by helicopter. The seeds of bilberry for example need to interact with a chemical found in birds stomachs before germination (and we haven’t found a safe way of replicating this process yet!) so other options need to be explored.
Download our seed application factsheet for more information (opens in a new window).
Cuttings from a small sample of native plants are taken and then propagated on an industrial scale, which sees them grown in a special solution and exposed to many summers in one calendar year! These are then airlifted onto site and planted by hand.
Fact – Moors for the Future have planted 150,000 dwarf shrub plug plants on the moors, with the assistance of volunteers.
On a slightly smaller but no less impressive scale, 15,000 cottongrass plants were grown from seed by volunteers between 2004 and 2007. These are now all thriving in places such as Kinder, Bleaklow and Marsden Moor.

Download our plant propagation factsheet for more information (opens in a new window).

The large-scale application of Sphagnum is even more complicated and over the coming years we will be looking at ways of applying this and other species through a method called hydro-seeding. This is a process where seed or small cuttings are ‘diluted’ in a water-based solution and sprayed onto the target site.

Go to Phase 6

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