Thousands of children learn about life on the region’s moorlands

Lets Learn Moor event at Lower Barden Reservoir near Skipton. 2/7/2024. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/BASC.

More than 2,500 children from across the north of England are experiencing the feel of spongey sphagnum mosses under their feet and seeing carnivorous insect-eating sundew plants, as the UK’s largest uplands classroom returns this week.

They are also meeting hardy Swaledale sheep, seeing soaring birds of prey and hearing the chattering of red grouse and the call of the iconic curlew as part of this year’s Let’s Learn Moor events which are being held at locations across the north of England this week. [between 1-5 July 2024.]

Let’s Learn Moor is the UK’s largest annual upland education event, providing an opportunity for children to meet the people and organisations that help to protect our stunning moorland landscapes and species.

Co-ordinated by the Regional Moorland Groups, BASC and Countryside Learning – and involving more than 50 partner organisations – more than 10,000 children have been part of Let’s Learn Moor since its launch in 2017.

Curtis Mossop, BASC’s head of education and outreach, said: “We cannot wait to welcome children back to Let’s Learn Moor this summer. We have an array of interesting and exciting activities planned for them.

“In the past, they have had a chance to ‘rescue’ their teachers with the mountain rescue, solve rural crimes with the police and learn about the importance of the precious carbon-rich peatlands below their feet.

“Our young guests will get to sample wild food, with pigeon and venison burgers on the menu. We are very excited to be working alongside Countryside Learning and the Regional Moorland Groups once again to deliver this fantastic event.”

Regional Moorland Groups spokesman Richard Bailey said: “The moorland group coordinators are looking forward to welcoming lots of new faces up onto the moors this week, and to showing these youngsters what makes the moorlands of the UK special.

“Each day has a fun-filled roster of educational activities planned, whether that’s learning about the animals, the plants or the people who work in the uplands.

“There are also be plenty of opportunities for the children to get ‘hands-on’, whether that’s helping to man the fire pumps or shearing sheep.

“Many of the pupils who come to these events live close to the moors but rarely have a chance to visit or to understand what happens – for example why they are asked to keep dogs on leads, or to not light campfires. Hopefully the Let’s Learn Moor days will both educate and entertain, and our visitors will go home with some food for thought.”

The events involve national arks, local farmers, emergency services, gamekeepers, water utility companies, conservation groups and many others.