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Preserving the heritage of Ilkley Moor with National Lottery funding

The Friends of Ilkley Moor have been awarded a £64,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help conserve the heritage of Ilkley Moor and provide opportunities for people to learn about this heritage and to help to conserve it.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant is for the FoIM 2- year ‘Peoples Heritage Project’, running from Feb 2024 until Jan 2026, and has been made possible by National Lottery players.

The project will undertake habitat management and restoration of the peatland and heathland habitats in some areas of Ilkley Moor. This management will also be undertaken in other areas important for wildlife and will include minor footpath maintenance. Much of the work will be undertaken by volunteers.

The project will be linked with the peatland restoration works already being undertaken on the moor. This includes planting sphagnum moss and removing pine seedlings as well as other peatland restoration works.

Bracken will be cut, in selected areas, using a flailbot to help restore the heathland habitat, and to provide areas blooming with heather and bilberries.

All works will be undertaken in consultation with Bradford Council and Natural England.

The project will deliver an extensive programme of community engagement on Ilkley Moor linked to its heritage. The events will include volunteer days, health and wellbeing walks and educational activities. FoIM hopes that a wide range of people will have opportunities to benefit from Ilkley Moor’s heritage; to learn about it and to help conserve it.

This project will contribute to the conservation of important habitats and species. The restoration of the peatland bogs will aid carbon sequestration and so help limit climate change, it will help reduce the risk of floodingin the valley, aid in water storage, reduce wildfires and increase water quality. There is a local need for these solutions to reduce the risk of wildfires on the Moor, and the flooding in Ilkley Town.

Owen Wells, Chair of the Friends of Ilkley Moor said: “We are delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. It is great to know that we are a step closer to preserving the Moor for future generations and the wildlife of the Moor. We are delighted that we can provide opportunities for people to learn about the Moor and become involved in conserving its heritage.”

“We hope that this project will bring in new members to the Friends of Ilkley Moor. Every new member helps make the FoIM stronger and every new member helps to conserve the Moor’s heritage.”

As a charity the Friends of Ilkley Moor are committed to helping conserve Ilkley Moor; and to involving the community in this work. FoIM volunteers help manage the habitats of the Moor and maintain its footpaths.

The FoIM always needs to become more financially sustainable, through membership subscriptions and we hope that more people will support us in this way. Visit for more information on how to become a member. Individual, unwaged, family, and corporate memberships are available.

Extra volunteer days to plant Sphagnum Moss on Ilkley Moors peatland will take place on the 5th March and 19th March. 10am until 1pm. Contact Tracy Gray if you would like to help. 25,000 Sphagnum Moss plug plants will be planted throughout these months. As well as helping restore the peatland, people will learn about the biodiversity of this habitat and the importance of peatlands for carbon capture, flood alleviation and reduced wildfire risk.


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