Kevin Hollinrake MP visits the North Yorkshire Moors Moorland Organisation
Updated: Sep 30
A few weeks back, the North Yorkshire Moors Moorland Group (NYMMO) welcomed their local MP Kevin Hollinrake back out onto one of their managed estates on the North York Moors to look at some large scale works that have been taking place.
Stone dams have been created by blocking grips with piles of stones that are spaced out and dropped every 10 metres. These work as dams in stopping the flow of water which in turn helps to prevent wetting on lower ground.
Blocking grips raises the water level to at, or near, the soil surface, encouraging the colonisation of sphagnum and other specialist plant species, for example bog asphodel, cloudberry, bog orchid and sundew. Blanket bogs and other mire vegetation communities are of significant conservation value.
The estate gamekeeper took Kevin to look and discuss the work that had been undertaken in carrying out the grip blocking. They then went to look at the differences between areas of burnt and cut heather.
The areas that had been burnt earlier in the year were already starting to re-generate with green buds appearing, whereas the areas that had been cut had left more vegetation and this meant these patches were still being affected by heather beetle.
The importance of showing our MPs what is happening on the moors is fundamental in educating the wider public and this has been seen to good effect lately when during the last grouse shooting debate in parliament our MPs spoke with great knowledge having visited and seen first-hand the works of managed moorlands.
Another moorland MP, Robert Goodwill, raised similar issues earlier in the year when he said, of MPs, that: "Often you get people trotting out the same old arguments which don’t bear any scrutiny by anyone who understands the issues, or indeed anyone who’s looked at the research on land management issues... There is a lack of insight and knowledge among many MPs, particularly urban ones, to what makes the countryside tick."
This is an issue that all of us need to work to overcome; to enable the MPs who represent us all – whether their constituency is rural or urban – to understand the realities of the countryside and the uplands, and who is best placed to manage these areas.
For more information on NYMMO and their work, follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nymmouk.