In the last 15 months the EMP volunteers have faced storms, ice, snow, bogs and molinia in their mission to collate information about our beloved Moors. Today Kim and Alex lead us on a new challenge to penetrate the birch and bracken jungle that is Jack Flat. Armed with little more than clipboards we confronted the millions of midges that inhabit this area so that we could learn how to measure everything that didn't move.
We checked out the flora, looked for signs of fauna and discussed the terrain.
We measured the height of trees and the width of their trunks, we looked at pieces of dead wood and measured those as well.
Some of us learnt new terms like windthrow and browseline and we discussed the difference between frayed stems and browsed stems.
In spite of all the decaying matter and fungal infection we had an educational few hours analysing just one 25m square. Kim and Alex are to be credited for putting up with willing but sometimes amateur students. It is now up to these hardy volunteers (and wardens) to implement this knowledge elsewhere and build up a comprehensive perspective of the woodland areas throughout the Eastern Moors.
Luckily we have 3 months to work on this project so we can pick and choose the days to do it. Hopefully this means we can avoid the worst of the summer weather and, of course, avoid the plagues of midges.