YORKSHIRE’s beautiful rural areas are being successfully restored to their former glory.
Yorkshire Water launched an initiative in 2000 to restore over 11,000 hectares of its very best wildlife and geographical areas by 2010.
And now it has announced that it is ahead of schedule, having restored 85 per cent of its sites, including wetlands, meadows, beaches and peat bogs.
Mike Pearson, Yorkshire Water’s land and programme manager, said: “Since the project began, Yorkshire Water has carried out moorland restoration to rejuvenate habitat, revive peat bogs and fence off particularly sensitive areas of land to help protect and establish vegetation cover.
“There’s still lots to do and there are some real challenges ahead if we’re going to remain on track come the target date in 2010, but we’re confident we’re in the best possible position.”
Research in 2003 showed that large areas of Yorkshire Water’s land had been damaged by years of pollution, fires, over-grazing and land management policies such as moorland draining that were good for grazing and shooting, but bad for the ecological condition.
Jeff Lunn, area manager for Natural England – the government’s natural environment advisor – said: “These sites are our most valuable wildlife habitats which are under pressure from development, climate change, pollution and past and present damaging land management.
“This work ensures that people will continue to be able to enjoy the purple heather and song of the curlew in some of the finest areas of the country.”