Post by Viki Hirst, Upland Hydrology Group/water@leeds
All the planning paid off! We had a great weekend at the CLA’s Game Fair last weekend (31st July-2nd August 2015) at Harewood House.
The Upland Hydrology Group wanted a stall at this year’s game fair to engage with landowners, farmers, gamekeepers and the general public to raise awareness of the importance of our uplands and the careful management needed to achieve the many benefits they provide us.
Over the three days we estimate we had over 500 visitors, interested in talking about management of the uplands. The rewards of beer, Allendale’s Old Sphagnum, for completing the quiz went down well as did our displays, which included a 1m core of peat dating back to AD800.
We had different species of Sphagnum moss and a turf of heather on display, along with upland plants and Beadamoss (http://www.beadamoss.co.uk/page8.html) used in restoration projects kindly supplied by Micro Propagation Services (http://micropropagation-services.co.uk/page2.html). Also invertebrates from peatland pools included impressive dragon-fly larvae.
Quotes from visitors over the weekend :-
• When eyeing up the heather turf one small girl, probably aged around 4 said “ is that heather”, “yes” I replied. “ooh good, have you got a lighter so I can set fire to it?”…………..!
• Another happy customer told us we had the best and most informative stand on the whole show, with the loveliest of people. (She had just spent the last hour looking at guns with her husband……).
The stall was expertly manned by our members from the Environment Agency, Moors For the Future, University of Leeds, Countryside Training, and North Pennine Moors AONB – all of whom have gained many contacts.
Now we need to plan for our conference in January! So watch this space…