TWO important spring mires on Dartmoor were successfully restored last month, as part of an ongoing project to restore the National Parks all-important peatland areas. The work was thanks to the efforts of a community task force of farmers, artists, specialists and land owners.

It took over 30 people, from 15 organisations, working together, plus a fortnight of practical activity on Harford and Ugborough Moors, on the southern edge of Dartmoor.

It’s part of a long term ambition of the South West Peatland Partnership to re-establish Dartmoor’s globally important bogs and mires. They are at risk of disappearing according to the University of Exeter. And the work is also part of project to secure the future of upland commons, led by the Foundation for Common Land. Those involved included a Devon-based artist collective Art and Energy, the Commoners’ Association, the National Trust and the Dartmoor National Park Authority. Dartmoor Headwaters Project officers were also on hand to help. Tamsin Thomas, the Our Upland Commons Dartmoor project officer, explains: ‘The restoration task was quite complex, and all about reinstating the water table.

‘When they function well, spring mires are fabulous habitats for wildlife, they provide clean water for livestock and people, deliver natural flood management and lock carbon.

‘But there’s a big task ahead of us if we want to see more of these benefits. The restoration of Dartmoor’s peatbogs requires urgent action and a wide range of organisations working together to achieve this.’