Research & Monitoring

Alongside the physical conservation works undertaken by Moors for the Future is the research and monitoring of organisms, processes and functions that shape moorland ecosystems.



Measuring and recording the effects of moorland restoration and management on different aspects of the environment and its users at a range of spatial scales over time, allows us to
assess the impact of restoration, quantify conservation successes, identify future targets and develop our understanding of this internationally important landscape.

We are able to draw on numerous and varied resources to:

Since 2003 we have been collaborating with leading UK universities and academic research institutions specialising in upland ecology and geography to undertake baseline biodiversity surveys, measure chemical and physical elements of the moorland environment and monitor changes to these over time (above right). This data allows us, our collaborators, partners and other organisations to assess the impact of physical conservation on moorland habitats.   


 Measuring water table depth of bare, restored and intact peat sites using automated dipwells.

Automated dipwells are used to measure how ground water levels change over time after revegetating treatments. As a key aim of our work is to stabilise bare peat, Peat pins (far left) were trialled to determine the rate of erosion.

Building extensive, comprehensive data sets over long periods of time also allows us to track natural changes, such as climate change, to ecosystems and their services. 

In addition to the projects that our research team undertake we encourage and support research by individuals, particularly young students, through Research Grants and support in the field.

Young academics often have their first opportunity to place their foot in the academic world on the platform provided by Moors for the Future Partnership in the form of publishing findings or presenting them at research conferences.

Our datasets include vegetation surveys, GIS landscape modelling and visitor surveysThe collection of baseline data from the outset of the project has enabled us to assess the effectiveness of our work over time. Our datasets include bird surveys, landscape audit of vegetation cover (left, top), footpath condition assessments, visitor attitude surveys (left, bottom) and Digital Terrain Modelling (left, middle) amongst others. Our annual vegetation surveys involve teams of dedicated volunteers who cover all our restoration sites and collect data on the plant species and vegetation structure.

If you would like more information on any of our projects or datasets, to discuss possible research projects or to join us as a volunteer please contact us.

Our Partners

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