The Innovation Award recognises Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s use of state-of-the-art techniques to restore upland peatlands through the Yorkshire Peat Partnership (YPP). This includes innovative ways of re-introducing essential peat-forming Sphagnum mosses to damaged peatlands, and pioneering the use of custom-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones), as well as satellites, to monitor the health of peatlands. In the nine years since the project started, YPP has monitored over 7,900 hectares using these techniques – a national record for peatland surveys.
Whilst YPP celebrated a win, it was a double celebration of sorts, having also come highly commended in a second category at the ceremony in the historic Merchant Taylors’ Hall, London: the NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) Impact Award.
Dr Tim Thom, Peat Programme Manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said:
“We are thrilled to have collected the Innovation Award. It’s a testament to the hard work and commitment of the whole team in developing these high-tech methods to help restore Yorkshire’s peatlands to their boggy best. Healthy peatlands protect wildlife and carbon stocks and reduce flooding downstream.
“I think a relatively small regional charity working at this large scale also impressed the judges, leading to our programme being shortlisted for the NGO Impact Award. Being nominated for both categories and winning one is fantastic, and we are delighted our work to restore this important landscape received this level of recognition.”
YPP is a broad partnership programme managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and in its lifetime has restored over 26,000 hectares (equivalent to half of Leeds) of upland blanket bog throughout Yorkshire, providing public benefits including climate change mitigation and improved water quality.