A scientific study on the Peak moorlandsA moorland conservation project is a step closer to winning a lottery award.

A scientific study on the Peak moorlands

The Peak District-based Moors for the Future has reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards for this year. It will be pitched against two other schemes in the environment category.

Members of the public can vote for their choice and the winning scheme will get £2,000 to spend and, more usefully, a prime-time slot on BBC1. Already, the publicity is paying off, with an expected feature for Moors for the Future on BBC1’s One Show this Wednesday, 23 July.

Voting on the final projects is by telephone or on the internet and runs from today until 8 August. Details are on the National Lottery website.

Other contenders in the environment section are an Ilkley outdoor education centre and a Plymouth organic community garden.

Moors for the Future is working to preserve the peatlands of the Peak District, which are estimated to be a better CO2 store than all of the UK’s and France’s forests combined. Industrial pollution, overgrazing and wildfires have all damaged the fragile environment and the Edale-based project is trying to stop further damage and reverse some of the harm done.

Kinder Scout, at the heart of the Peak moorlands projectWorkers and volunteers from Moors for the Future are restoring vegetation on the Pennine moors, with cotton grass, heather and bilberry.

Kinder Scout, at the heart of the Peak moorlands project

The partnership, which includes the Peak District National Park Authority, the National Trust, Natural England, United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency, Derbyshire County Council and moorland owners, has also restored footpaths and sections of the Pennine Way. It launched Paws on the Moors, to promote responsible dog-walking, and has charted the moors’ history.

Chris Dean, Moors for the Future manager, said: “A vote for us recognises the importance of the moorlands in the UK’s past and future, and addresses the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today – climate change.

“We really hope people will vote for the future benefit of the whole country.”