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 Moorland tracks

Over 500 km of tracks currently exist on the moorlands of the North Pennines. The North Pennines AONB Partnership has hosted a seminar to consider the impacts related to moorland track construction, location and management.   

Upland tracks

With a general appreciation by many people and organisations that track construction and management is a significant issue in the English uplands, there is a growing need and opportunity to share information and views on this subject. The North Pennines AONB Partnership, in collaboration with Natural England and the Moorland Association, held a seminar on the issues surrounding moorland track construction in 2009. This event was the first time that interested parties had been brought together to discuss this subject and the seminar topics ranged across the biodiversity, peatland management, planning and landscape issues surrounding tracks alongside moorland managers' desire for track construction to aid management.

The seminar was well received by both the conservation and land managers sectors, with many important issues aired. Presentations on scientific research on the environmental impacts that track construction can have on peatlands and the planning issues surrounding track construction were particularly thought-provoking.

The presentations from this event and associated best practice documents can be accessed from this part of our website PDF iconSeminarProgramme.pdf (88kb)  


What Next?

We will continue to work with Natural England and the Moorland Association in the near future to further our understanding of the issues surrounding moorland track construction. We are coordinating a research project to test alternatives to heavily engineered stone roads across blanket peat. More information is available on the project page.

The North Pennines AONB Partnership's Planning Guidelines document includes more detail on the planning issues surrounding tracks.


Seminar Presentations

1) Chris Woodley – Stewart, North Pennines AONB Partnership

PDF iconNPAPTracksInAProtectedLandscape.pdf (17 pages, 1125kb)

2) Nick Mason, North Pennines AONB Partnership

PDF iconNPAPCaseStudies.pdf (16 pages, 1916kb)

3) Paul Illingworth, Northumbrian Water Ltd

PDF iconNWLMoorlandTracksWaterResourceImpacts.pdf (16 pages, 353kb)

4) John Barrett, Natural England

PDF iconNaturalEnglandMoorlandTracksImpactsandIssue.pdf (24 pages, 1995kb)

5) Anne Armitstead, Natural England

PDF iconNaturalEnglandMoorlandTracksConservationPolicy.pdf (16 pages, 837kb)

6) Andrew Coupar, Scottish Natural Heritage

PDF iconSNHScottishTrackIssues.pdf (45 pages, 929kb)

7) Philip Lewis, England and Lyle, Chartered Town Planners

PDF iconUplandTracks.pdf (22 pages, 567kb)

8) Richard Lindsay, University of East London

PDF iconTracks_cience.pdf (52 pages, 2949kb)

9) Martin Gillibrand, Moorland Association

PDF iconMATracks.pdf (3 pages, 20kb)

View of a moorland track
The effects of a new style plastic track on blanket peat are being tested in the North Pennines
Plastic mesh tracks have been trialled as an alternative to heavily engineered stone roads