20 October 2014BES Sphagnum Workshop

The British Ecological Society (BES) in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) and UKEcoNet have this year conducted one of their annual Sphagnum identification workshops on Thorne Moors. The event was organised by Professor Ian Rotherham of SHU, Helen Kirk of the Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum (THMCF) and Christine Handley of UKEconet.

The event began at the Miners' Welfare in Moorends  with introductory talks on the WLMP and the ecology and history of the site by Ian Rotherham and Kieran Sheehan with an introduction to Sphagnum identification and ecology by Dr Paul Ardron.

After lunch the group were taken by minibus to Green Belt from where they walked to the canals area, identifying Sphagnum mosses on the way. The field identification sessions were run by Paul Ardron supported by Kieran Sheehan and were very well attended: numbers being limited by the size of the minibus, which was full.

This was a very successful event, introducing ecologists from across the UK to the work we are doing on Thorne and explaining the ecology and importance of Sphagnum species in raised mire restoration, as well as their ecology and identification. It is anticipated that this will become a regular event in the calendar in future years.

Sphagnum mosses seen in the field on the day:

Sphagnum cuspidatum

Sphagnum fimbriatum

Sphagnum squarrosum

Sphagnum fallax

Sphagnum subnitens

Sphagnum palustre

Sphagnum papillosum


17 October 2014Humberhead Peatlands LIFE+ Bid

Natural England launched its successful LIFE+ bid at Hatfields on the 17th October 2013. The launch was attended by a number of local politicians and conservation bodies as well as national representtatives from Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Presentations were given by Caroline Flint MP, who stressed the importance of Thorne Moors as a conservation cause celebre and a carbon sink and Linda McAvan MEP who focussed on the importance of peatlands in general as global carbon stores and how this places a special responsibility on the UK, which contains a high proportion of entire EU peatland resource.

Kieran Sheehan of the Doncaster East IDB Thorne Moors Water Level Management Plan (WLMP) and JBA Consulting gave a brief tour de force of the habitats on the bog and the aims of the WLMP and how they gel with those of the LIFE+ project. Helen Kirk of the Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum talked eloquently about the moors and their recent history and the benefits of partnership working and waht can be gained from it in terms of added value, citing the Inkle Moor Invertebrate Survey as an example.

Julian Small from Natural England expanded on the theme of partnership working forward and his colleague, Sue Plaxton, talked about the role of the Humberhead Levels Partnership in this and other bids on the Levels and expanded on the amounts of money that had been brought into the the Levels for conservation gain.

Professor David Hill of Natural England brought all this together in terms of working for future generations and David Shaw summed-up thanking the speakers and everyone for attending.

During the afternoon, a visit was made to the works undertaken as part of the WLMP on Southern Boundary Drain. Here Darren Whitaker of the Doncaster East WLMP and JBA Consulting explained the necessity of the structure, what bit had achieved since its installation and how this was to be controlled by a state of the art telemetry system. Details of this were tweeted by Alastair Driver of the Environment Agency, along with other points from the event.

The day ended with a vist to Collis' Tram to see Sphagnum colonisation and a quick look see from the top of Thorne coal tip, to give an idea of the scale of the site and extent of the scrub clearance works being funder by LIFE+.


10 October 2013Doncaster East IDB Thorne Moors Field Day

Members of Doncaster East Internal Drainage Board attended a field day on Thorne Moors to look at the progress of the WLMP in raising water levels on the moors and explaining the reasoning behind the plan and what it aims to achieve. Doncaster East IDB are the main funders of the project with smaller sums coming from the Humberhead Levels Nature Improvement Area, Defra and Natural England.

During the visit a number of sites were visited, including Goole Moors, Crowle Moors and the Blue Bridge/Canals area on Thorne Moors. Here members of the project team and partner organisations, including Helen Kirk, Kieran Sheehan, Darren Whitaker and Julian Small, spoke about the long term aims for the bog, how the WLMP fits into these as well as the importance of the site for conservation in a UK and european context.

The meeting was very well attended and the feedback from those who attended was very positive with one Board member and Doncaster Councillor saying it was one of the best such 'fact finding' outings he had had in his life.

02 October 2013British Ecological Society Thorne and Hatfield Moors Field Day

A successful field day was held by the British Ecological Society on both Thorne and Hatfield Moors on the 2nd October 2013 to look at the origins of the moors and the Humberhead Levels as well as the works being undertaken by the WLMP to raise water levels on Crowle and Thorne Moors.

Speakers on the the day included Professor Ian Rotherham of Sheffield Hallam University, Dr Paul Buckland of the Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum and Kieran Sheehan of JBA Consulting. Topics included the the Holocene geology and prehistory of the Humberhead Levels, the lost fens of the Levels and the details of the WLMP and its implementation.

The meeting was funded and organised by Sheffield Hallam University, the British Ecological Society Peatlands Special Interest Group, JBA Consulting, Rangjung Yeshe UK and the Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum. It is hoped that a similar, follow-up event can be run on Thorne Moors in 2014.

07 February 2012Extraordinary Steering Group Meeting

An extraordinary meeting of the Project Steering Group has been arranged for 10:00 on Tuesday 7th February at Denison House, Doncaster.

All Steering Group members should have been contacted by phone regarding their availability to attend this meeting.



    Minutes 02 May 2017
    02 May 2017

    Agenda 02 May 2017
    13 April 2017


    BES Sphagnum Workshop
    20 October 2014

    Humberhead Peatlands LIFE+ Bid
    17 October 2014
    All photographs © Kieran Sheehan