It's that helicopter time of year again

heather brash

The Moors For The Future project has been working since 2003 to repair the damage caused to the moorland of the Dark Peak, which I live on the edge of. Part of this work involves spreading heather brash over the areas of eroded peat, so as to provide a micro-climate that will enable the surface of the peat to revegetate. Because of the nature of the terrain, it's impossible to access it by conventional means so everything has to be airlifted in by helicopter. There's a short period when this work can be done, between the end of the shooting season and the start of the nesting season, so it's a pretty hectic time. This year the project is doing its biggest-ever airlift which will be using three helicopters to transfer 24,000 dumpy bags of heather brash onto the moors, which will be spread across 1,600,000 square metres of eroded peat. The Peak District Rangers provide ground support for the helicopters, so I'm going to be out at least a day a week for the next month or so helping out. There's a video below that I took a couple of years ago showing what's involved - the helicopter carries six bags at a time and drops them off in pairs at the places we indicate. It's a bit scary the first couple of times, but the skill of the pilots is really amazing, and so far nobody has been buried under a bag :-) The project been front-page news in the local press - yeah, it's quiet around here - see these articles in The Glossop Chronicle and The Glossop Advertiser