Rare Habitat - Hatfield Moor and Peatlands
The Lindholme Hall Estate, is situated in the centre of the Hatfield Moor and provides a unique opportunity to put the Buddha’s teachings into practice. The Moor and parts of the Estate are comprised in part, of an ancient lowland raised mire (peatland) which is a rare, endangered and environmentally essential resource. The area is home to a great diversity of habitats and species and supports extremely rare ecosystems. It is a little known fact that the peatlands are as rare as any part of the Amazonian rainforest.
Thorne and Hatfield Moors are the only true continental raised mires remaining in Britain, with a strong affinity to bogs in countries fringing the Baltic. Raised mires are very different from other lowland wet mires and constitute a unique ecosystem and are considered, an exceptionally precious part of our national heritage. The Thorne and Hatfield Moors have been designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest; Special Protection Areas under the European Birds Directive; Special Areas of Conservation under the European Habitats Directive; and Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.History – Industrial Milling
From 1950 to the 1990s, Hatfield Moor was milled for garden peat. The industrial scale of the extraction meant that the moor habitat was systematically devastated. At one point there were plans to turn the whole area into a landfill.
Local people and many conservation bodies campaigned to save the Thorne and Hatfield Moors. The story of the “fight for the moors” is, according to botanist David Bellamy, “a story of the real guts of conservation”.
Thanks to the efforts of a few informed, bold and tenacious conservationists, the peatlands are now owned by Natural England and form one of the largest bog-restoration projects in Europe. Despite the massive damage done in the past, it is believed that the moors, in some part, can be restored.Living museum
The acidic peat of the moors creates an environment in which few bacteria are active and where there is minimal free oxygen. This inhibits the process of decay and has allowed a veritable Domesday archive of four millennia to be preserved. Two trackways and charred tree stumps yield rare clues to the activities of Neolithic and Bronze Age human communities — but if the mire is allowed to dry out, the record will be lost forever.
Objects of botanical interest include royal fern, bog rosemary, the insectivorous round-leaved sundew and bladderwort, and the greater yellow-rattle.Carbon Crisis and UK’s Peatlands
Peatlands remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. UK peatlands store 3 billion tonnes of carbon, almost four times as much as UK forests, making them a vital natural resource in the fight against climate change. They could perhaps be seen as the UK´s equivalent to tropical rainforests.
Due to the continued degradation of the UK’s peatlands, a significant amount of carbon is lost back into the atmosphere. This is particularly alarming, as a loss of only 5% of stored carbon equates to the UK´s total annual green house gas emissions.
There has been a dramatic decline and extensive degradation of these areas and over the past 200 years, 94% of Britain’s lowland raised bog habitat has been lost. The decline has occurred through agricultural changes, afforestation, and industrial peat extraction.
Currently, almost all peat dug out of the ground is used to make peat compost. Our use of peat compost is responsible for 630,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of 300,000 cars.From the wider perspective of climate it is clear that preservation of the UK’s peatlands needs to be a high priority.Back to Environment