The Peak District from space

One of my neighbours, Tim, is a lecturer at the University of Manchester and is doing research on Bleaklow as part of the Moors for the Future project. I chatted to him at length about the work that's being done at Mark's birthday party back in September, and today he mailed some me some interesting satellite photos from a conference held recently by the Moors for the Future project.

The first one is a picture of the UK at night., showing the contrast between the urban (lit) and rural (unlit) areas of the UK. I've outlined the Peak District with a red square (if you click on the picture you'll get a larger version which is a bit clearer). The unlit area corresponds very closely to the boundary of the park. The Peak District is within 1 hours drive for 20 million people, or about 1/3 of the population of the UK, and looking at the sea of light that surrounds the Peak District I can see where they all come from. Surrounding the park from the top clockwise are the lights of Leeds/Bradford, Sheffield, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester.

The Peak District by night

The second photo is a daytime satellite image taken on the 18th April 2003, which is when we had the massive fire on Bleaklow with I wrote about at the time. The red square outlines the smoke plumes from the Saddleworth (upper) and Bleaklow (lower) fires. There was a very strong easterly wind on the day in question, and as a result the Bleaklow plume stretches out into Liverpool Bay and is over 100km long.

You can also see the moorland fires in Scotland, both in the Southern Uplands and on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.The Bleaklow fire was almost certainly started deliberately - sobering to think that the actions of just a few morons could cause an environmental disaster that could be seen even from space.

Categories : Peak District