Ditch-blocking and water management techniques on Exmoor began in 1998.
The aim of this work was to increase the wetness and the biodiversity of damaged and dried-out peatland habitats.
A Restoration Partnership of:
- Environment Agency (EA) (Devon Area)
- Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA)
- Natural England (NE) (formerly English Nature)
- South West Water
- English Heritage (EH)
committed a budget of £400,000. The project was managed by a dedicated project officer, Dr David Smith and a steering group from the five main partners.
Restoration work took place at 17 sites in 12 locations on Exmoor. By the end of 2010 some 50km of ditches had been blocked with over 4,300 ditch blocks made from bales, wood and peat. This resulted in the re-wetting of over 350 hectares of moorland.
The work was carried out by contractors and the ENPA Field Services team and cost in the region of £175,000. These costs were met from the Mire Project budget and Natural England's agri-environment schemes (Higher Level Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Areas) which have funded the capital works on the privately owned moorlands
Sites include ENPA-owned moorland at Blackpitts, Exe Head and Long Holcombe; National Trust-owned moorland at Aldermans Barrow Allotment and on privately owned moorland at Verney's Allotment, Roostitchen, Broadmead, Squallacombe and Great Vintcombe (both on Aclands), Codsend Moor, Hangley Cleave and North Twitchen.