Yorkshire Peat Partnership celebrates 10th birthday with special event on Bog Day

Buckden Pike rising above Buckden © Peter Katic/National Trust

Yorkshire Peat Partnership will be heading to Buckden on Sunday 28th July to celebrate their 10th birthday with a selection of fun activities with partners the National Trust and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

All three partners will be setting up shop in Buckden’s public carpark on International Bog Day with a selection of family-friendly activities. If you are heading for the summit of Buckden Pike, you can help the team and the Dales Young Rangers plant some sphagnum and cottongrass – no digging required!

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Peat Programme Manager, Tim Thom, said:

“There’s around 70, 000 hectares of blanket bog in Yorkshire. Over the last ten years, with the support of our partners, we have helped to bring 27,223 hectares back to wet, boggy life – that’s the size of Hull! There is still a lot to do but this is a massive achievement in just 10 years.

“The National Trust and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have been key partners from the start and it is great to share our celebrations with the 30th anniversary of the National Trust’s estate in Upper Wharfedale and the 70th Anniversary of National Parks. With three anniversaries to celebrate, this Bog Day is shaping up to be the best one yet!”

YPP started life in 2009 as an umbrella organisation, led by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, to coordinate the restoration of the badly degraded peatlands in the uplands of northern Yorkshire. Since then, YPP has grown into the primary coordinator of peatland restoration across the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks, and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

National Trust Area Ranger for Upper Wharfedale Peter Katic said:

“It will be great to be working with our partners on Buckden Pike on the 28th July, not only to celebrate and talk about the vital importance of these peat moorlands but also to commemorate 30 years since the generous gift of the Upper Wharfedale Estate to the National Trust.  

“This year we will be laying a further 360 metres of stone flags along the ridge path between Buckden Pike summit and the Polish War Memorial.    This will complete the protection of the fragile peat along the route, helping the blanket bog to begin its recovery.  It will also allow visitors and the local community to continue enjoying the sense of freedom and far reaching views that these amazing places provide”

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Member Champion for the Natural Environment, Ian McPherson, said:

“When the idea for a Yorkshire Peat Partnership was first agreed 10 years ago, we had no idea that it would make such a hugely significant contribution to the environment of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.   The gains of doing peatland restoration – in terms of biodiversity, sequestering carbon and reducing flood peaks – are enormous.   That is why it is so important that we get a national commitment to provide the funding that we need to speed up and complete the restoration of the rest of the devastated ‘blanket bog’ peatlands of the Dales, almost all of which is internationally-designated for wildlife.”  

Nothing says Yorkshire quite like a great carpet of squelchy blanket bog – the peatland habitat that dominates our uplands¬ – stretching out to the horizon. As well as being intrinsically Yorkshire, peatlands store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined; by slowing the flow of water from the hills, they reduce the risk of flooding further downstream; and they are home to beautiful wildlife like curlew, golden plover, and common lizards

Each year, International Bog Day falls on the final Sunday in July. This annual event celebrates the beauty of bogs and raises awareness of peatlands, the services they provide for free, and the threats they face.