Coordinating science, educational outreach and volunteering to achieve biodiversity monitoring on Exmoor
The Exmoor Mires Project, The Heart of Exmoor (HLF) Project and First Ecology have been working together since 2010 to deliver a broad range of Peatland based educational activities, training event and opportunities, practical volunteering and restoration success monitoring on Exmoor.
This has included participation in the MICCI programme, our yearly Bogtastic Day event, and over 4000 educational or volunteering day visits. This work has helped to embed an understanding of the aims of the Exmoor Mires Project within the local community on Exmoor, leading directly to an greater participation in the project’s volunteering programme.
These volunteers have been engaged in practical restoration maintaince tasks and through the education programmes they have been equipped with the skills to assist with the ongoing vegetation monitoring programmes. In a unique combination of Ecology Professionals (First Ecology Consultants) , dedicated volunteers and the two Project’s staff teams a programme of vegetation monitoring has developed.
The results of this work have been recently reported at the “In the Bog” conference , Sheffield, Sept 2014 and further publications are to follow which will include 2014 data. The headline results from 2013 are that at five of the seven sites re-surveyed by the team; restoration had lead to a change on NVC type to a wetter, more acidic and nutrient poor vegetation.
This confirms that the restoration has been successful on the 5 sites and that further work may be needed on the remaining two.