Moor House - Upper Teesdale - United Kingdom
Moor House - Upper Teesdale
Moor House - Upper Teesdale is an upland site in the north of England that is dominated by moorland and grassland vegetation. UK ECN site. Moor House-Upper Teesdale, in the North Pennine uplands, is England's highest and largest terrestrial National Nature Reserve (NNR), a UNESCO Global Geopark and a European Special Protection Area. Habitats include exposed summits, blanket peatlands, upland grasslands, pastures, hay meadows and deciduous woodland. The site is grazed by sheep and comprises of two areas. The Moor House area extends from the upper edge of the Eden Valley, over the Great Dun Fell (848 m), Little Dun Fell and Knock Fell to the River Tees. The geology comprises alternating strata of limestone, sandstone and shale into which the dolerite of the Great Whin Sill intrudes. The gently sloping eastern side of the area is overlain by poorly-drained glacial till, which has led to the development of blanket bog with peat 1-3 m deep. The vegetation is dominated by Eriophorum, Calluna vulgaris and Sphagnum moss. The soils and vegetation on the western side are more variable. The Upper Teesdale area protects unique communities of arctic-alpine plants and other flora and fauna. From Cow Green Reservoir it extends southwards to the summit of Mickle Fell (788 m) and eastward, down the Tees, to High Force waterfall. The geology, soils and vegetation of much of the area are similar to Moor House, but 'sugar limestone' soils, along with damp river-side soils, support many of the rarer plant species.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Moor House-Upper Teesdale is one of a series of terrestrial sites in the UK Environmental Change Network (ECN). The monitoring includes a wide range of physical, chemical and biotic parameters and is of high frequency. The data is used to detect environmental change in upland environments. In addition the site is used for a wide range of both short term and long term experimental work.
Research has been undertaken on the site since the 1930s by Universities and Institutes. A wide range of upland issues have been investigated especially the impact of land use change, climate change and the deposition of pollutants, and the functional processes of blanket peatland and streams. In the 1960s and 1970s the area was intensively studied as part of the International Biological Programme and in the 1990s as a flagship site of the Terrestrial Initiative in Global Environmental Research (TIGER). There is a small field lab available for researchers.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information