For the past few days, I’ve been frantically completing this video for the Peak District National Park – a 25minute feature concerning a project studying the effects of climate change on the moors involving not only scientists and other researchers but local schools, too.
This has been fascinating project to work on for me – more so given that 90% of the filming was done by school kids and volunteers, and other footage came from bodies like Moors for the Future (albeit from their mobile phones and such like).
So, I’ve tried to edit this story in an engaging way given the age groups who are likely to see it but not lose too much of it’s raw documentary style interest.
Needless to say, I’ve endeavoured to put my stamp on it with my landscape work – something I felt was essential in helping to get the message across about protecting such fragile habitats – but also to engage a wider audience too. The video will be showcased across the national park in it’s visitor centres, for example.
On an environmental note – working on this feature was certainly enlightening. I’ve no doubt whatsoever as to whether climate change is happening, after all it has been since the beginning of time. But as to mankinds impact globally?
Well, I’m still on the fence to a degree on that front. Are we causing the earth to heat up rapidly or is it natural? Even so, I think it’s good we develop green technologies more as opposed to fossil fuels. So, much of what we take for granted has a root in fossil fuels.
However, in this case with regards to the moorlands I’ve no doubt to the negative impact from humans on the immediate area.
Some tests have shown Bleaklow to have unsafe levels of lead up there, for example. All due to industrial pollution from bygone ages and even now (though perhaps not as bad obviously, but the damage has been done).
And of course there is the flora and fauna. Some areas of the Dark Peak have strict protection such is the rarity of quality and biodiversity of a given moor (some being only a stones throw from well known honey pots!)
How various bodies observe, record their information on the moors has been fascinating and heart warming, too. Because through research and greater public awareness through such projects as ‘Talking the MICCI’ funding has been and continues to be in place (for now thanks to grants) to help restore these precious environments for the benefit of all living creatures including ourselves.
Only recently has work commenced on large parts of the Kinder plateau and after a recent visit it was nice to see millions of seedlings taking hold in the peat already!
However, these infant plants are just part of a bigger picture – they are alien species to the moors but quick rooting. They help to germinate and establish the native grasses amongst the bogs and waters of a windswept Kinder Scout – and in time be overtaken by appropriate species.
Who knows? In a few years we may well see large areas of grassland and not eroding peat groughs. We may enjoy clear streams tumbling off the gritstone edges in places – as opposed to peat stained water.
|School kids out on the moors, researching hydrology|
What was also humbling was working with the school kids, too.
On one trip I accompanied and filmed a school party on a field trip from Ipswich. The whole area was a culture shock for them. And even though they were quiet when teachers were talking and so on – once I got them alone and chatted to them as adults, their thoughts and opinions on the Peakland landscape and climate change was a real eye opener.
Young people don’t half get a bad press nowadays – but these ‘young’un’s’ from all backgrounds made for wonderful company and I wish I captured all that they revealed on video. Alas, camera shyness kicked in.
Noting sheep wandering around on the moors was amusing to them, large open spaces and fresh air was simply a joy, some did feel unnerved at being ‘in the middle of nowhere’. Obviously I reassured them as how this perception was misleading and that the land itself may give the impression of ‘wilderness’ – when in reality it’s all man-made and we’re never too far from a road.
And once I mentioned I spent nights out on the moors be it in the Peaks or elsewhere – well, their eyes light up and I was bombarded with question after question!
So, given the background, who filmed what, the subject matter – the whole schlameel – I hope you find this video of interest.
It certainly goes to show other aspects of what the Peak District National Park Authority get up to.
Thanks to Peak Park Learning and Discovery Officers Chris Robinson and Rachael Kerr for inviting me to work on this project. Their passion, knowledge and enthusiasm is infectious and does their employer proud!