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Managing a walk on Kinder

Posted 20 July 2012
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Managing a walk on Kinder
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Kinder Scout may be a famous mountain for its access issues and the 1932 Great Trespass, but the effect of mankind on it has stretched way beyond the issue of whether the general public can cross it in their walking boots.

And one group doing just that will be taking a more detailed look at what goes into managing the fragile environment of the high plateau on August 4th.

Run by national park rangers, the Heather and Grouse trek starts at the Bowden Bridge car park at 10:30 BST, covering over nine miles.

Participants are advised to wear good footwear and outdoor clothing such as waterproofs. Walking jackets will be useful, particulrly those with a good hood as the wind on Kinder plateau can be particularly cold and biting due to its exposed nature.

Once up there, walkers will learn about how the moor is managed and this is only partly to do with human erosion, with the main path of the Pennine Way being impossible not to follow.

The top of the moor has been affected by humans since Neolithic times, with deforestation giving it the peaty, exposed nature. This has become incraesingly bare and acidic as a mixture of overgrazing by sheep and centuries of industrial pollution have taken their toll. Occasional moorland fires during very dry spells have also damaged the soil and destroyed plants.

Owned by the National Trust since 1982, Kinder has recently been the subject of renewed efforts at revegatating areas of virtual desert, such as the area around Kinder Low. As well as planting new bogland plants, the Trust has sought to keep sheep off with a fence that humans can cross with a stile to maintain access.

Grouse depend on there being plenty of thick vegetation like heather and long grasses for it to nest and breed in. Further peat erosion and loss of vegetation would destroy their habitat.

In addition to this, peat is recognised as being important for carbon capture and therefore its preservation is an important part in the battle against rising emissions.

Visitors seeing at first hand the work being done to appreciate the moor may therefore come to understand better how Kinder can be preserved.