Leeds University

Effects of Moorland Burning on the Ecohydrology of River basins

Close up shot of the boundary between a recently burned patch and older heather (Lee Brown)
Hillside with older patches of heather (brown) interspersed with patches of re-growing young vegetation (Joe Holden)

The 1st of October sees the start of this year's moorland burning season.

Our research has increased understanding of the effects of prescribed vegetation burning on blanket peatland hydrology, chemistry and physical properties, and on the hydrology, water quality and biota of rivers in upland peat-dominated catchments. It is the first time that a systematic and comprehensive assessment of burned and unburned catchments has been carried out.

The project was initiated in response to concerns over the intensification of rotational heather burning on blanket peatlands and the lack of evidence to inform various stakeholders about the environmental effects.

A two page executive summary and full report of key findings are both available.

The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council with additional support from Yorkshire Water.

If you refer to or use information contained in these reports, please let us know and include us in your citations:
Brown, L. E, Holden, J. and Palmer, S. M. (2014) Effects of moorland burning on the ecohydrology of river basins. Key findings from the EMBER project. University of Leeds. 

Report authors:
Lee Brown: http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/l.brown
Joseph Holden: http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/j.holden
Sheila Palmer: http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/s.palmer

Full Report
Executive Summary