Popular Sheffield moorland restored thanks to funding from Veolia

Tuesday 6th June 2017

A grant of almost £15,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust has made it possible for Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to carry out conservation work to protect Blacka Moor, a moorland nature reserve on the outskirts of Sheffield, popular with locals and visitors alike.

The project had three major components. First, dilapidated fencing and gates were replaced. This allowed the Trust to carry out conservation grazing which prevents saplings and scrub taking over the precious heathland habitat, while still allowing safe access to the public. Second, invasive species have been dealt with; bracken has been cut and sprayed, while encroaching rhododendron and birch have been cut back. Finally, two long firebreaks have been cut into mature areas of heather. In the event of a wild fire, this will reduce the risk of it spreading across the site. The whole restoration project took 12 months to complete.

At 181 hectares, Blacka Moor is the largest of the Trust's reserves, and is noted for its amazing views and diverse wildlife, including the UK's largest mammal, the red deer. It forms part of an internationally important wild landscape which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of some unique features including various heathers, the transition from woodland to open moor and its population of bilberry bumblebees.

Nabil Abbas, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust's Living Landscapes Manager (South), oversaw the work, and said: "Blacka Moor is a real gem amongst Sheffield's green spaces. Its location right on the edge of the city and its rich array of wildlife make it a unique place. Thanks to this year-long conservation project we've been able to restore the threatened moorland habitat, providing a home for unusual upland species including common lizard, whinchat and green hairstreak butterfly."

Paul Taylor, Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, added: "It is clear that the restoration project will have many benefits for the reserve and people who visit it. Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust should be proud of all they have achieved across this important site."

If you would like to help carry out some of the land management tasks on Blacka Moor, please come along to one of our regular volunteer work days. See wildsheffield.com/whats-on for details.

Tagged with: Living Landscapes