On Saturday 27th February, Barbara joined Jackie Anderson and other community campaigners on a walk to the peat extraction site at Chat Moss.
The walk was a protest against the continued extraction of peat at Chat Moss and to highlight the damage being caused to this natural habitat by the extraction of peat. In their Draft Core Strategy Salford Council are proposing to return Chat Moss to its form as a natural habitat and this would mean ending the extraction of peat there. However, Peel Holdings are challenging the Council’s proposals and argue that peat extraction should continue.
The 2750 hectares of land at Chat Moss is the largest area of Grade 1 and 2 farmland in Greater Manchester. It contains the largest block of semi natural woodland in Greater Manchester. It is also the source of significant wildlife interest. Home to a wealth of farmland birds, it also contains remnants of lowland bog habitat. This rare and declining habitat can only be found on peat substrates and the city council is seeking to restore areas of existing peat working to wet mossland.
“It was good for a group of us to make this walk which was organised by Jackie Anderson, to show the strength of our feelings about ending the extraction of peat at Chat Moss. The majority of the moss is Green Belt land and it must be protected.”
“It was clear to all of us on the walk that the current extraction activities are damaging to the landscape. There appears to be no restoration after extraction and it causes a bleak-looking landscape and flooding of the land. There also appeared to be damage to the woodland with trees and bushes torn up and thrown to one side where ditches are dug.
“I am glad that there is now a Mosslands policy and I strongly support the restoration of the wet mossland and the conservation of the mossland landscape. There is much to do to realise the vision of the restoration of Chat Moss, which is a vital green lung for local people and for Salford.
"I hope we can also strengthen farming at Chat Moss as it would be great to restore the area to becoming a productive supplier of vegetables and other crops to Salford, as it did in the past.”
Barbara, community campaigner Jackie Anderson and other campaigners and local residents who went on the walk to peat extraction sites at Chat Moss.