The Yorkshire Peat Partnership has announced a major programme of restoration work across the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales this year as part of a £10m scheme by 2015.
On the North York Moors, 17 kilometres (10.5 miles) of gullies which were cut into the peat between the 1950s and 1980s leading to severe erosion, are being blocked using 3,200 dams, while more than 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) of drains have been blocked on Baysdale Moor.
A further nine hectares of exposed peatlands on Glaisdale Moor are being re-vegetated – the equivalent of 163 tennis courts.
In Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), restoration work is taking place on Stean Moor, where more than 125 kilometres (77 miles) of drains have been cut, and experts are working to get a large proportion of them blocked.
In the Yorkshire Dales, restoration work is taking place on two sites covering an area of 1,224 hectares of peatland at Grimwith and Coverhead.
Around 120 kilometres of gullies are being blocked (75.5 miles) and nine hectares of bare peat being re-vegetated at Grimwith, near Grassington, and 60 kilometres (37 miles) of drains are being blocked at Coverhead, in Wensleydale.
Project Manager Tim Thom said: “This is a really exciting phase for the Yorkshire Peat Partnership, nearly 300 km of drains and gullies are being blocked.
“It provides a fantastic example of how charities and moorland landowners can really work together to their bit for climate change and biodiversity.”
Peatland restoration is seen as essential to help to conserve upland species of birds as well as benefiting water quality and preserving the landscape. Large areas of Yorkshire’s peatlands are damaged, with no vegetation cover and the peat eroding.