Living Uplands


Plastics – Source to Sea

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Living Uplands along with Durham Wildlife Trust and Teesside University is undertaking a project looking at plastics in the River Wear, source to sea, and engaging communities on what can be done to reduce pollution.

A fresh look at Freshwater life in Weardale

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From being reported in 1903, as a salmon river 'ruined by pollution' so that 'there is nothing to be said about its angling', the River Wear, and its tributaries has much to offer today to anyone interested in its natural history.

A rich diversity of Weardale fauna.

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Wolf, Wild Boar, and Aurochs (wild cattle) no longer roam Weardale, the hunting forests of the Bishop Princes gone, but there remains a wide and varied diversity in the fauna of the region.

Five-Year bird count milestone

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Living Uplands has reached a small milestone, with the fifth consecutive bird count with Durham Wildlife Trust. This annual exercise is building a valuable data set of birdlife on a particular section of upland moor.

Botanical interests

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Upper Weardale has plenty of botanical interest, shaped by its unique history and variety of habitats and plant communities.

The changing weather in Weardale

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The Pennines are unique in England as the only significant upland area not close to the sea, with climatic implications. Weather patterns in the Upper Dale on the Pennines have changed in the past 20 years.

Talking about Conservation

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Taking a view across the Natural History of Upper Weardale, Durham Wildlife Trust Director, Jim Cokill, considers the challenges and potential for conservation in the Dale.

Geomorphology. Bedrocks.

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Despite being a region that has been cloaked in glacier ice many times during the ice age, the physical landscape of the North Pennines is strongly controlled by the structure of its bedrock.

Enjoy the great outdoors, responsibly.

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In an official study most people agreed that natural spaces are good for mental health and wellbeing. More than 40% noticed that nature, wildlife, and visiting local green and natural spaces have been even more important to their wellbeing.

Underneath the surface of Upper Weardale

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The latest chapter to be uploaded to the Natural History of Upper Weardale is on "Bedrock Geology", what could be described as the foundation of our landscape. What lies beneath the surface shapes and influences what we see above.

The Natural History of Upper Weardale - opening online

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Over the coming months further chapters will be available online, following this first Chapter on "people". The Natural History of Upper Weardale will be a valuable companion to the previously published and highly appreciated History of Upper Teesdale.

Just published - the Natural History of Upper Weardale

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The Natural History of Upper Weardale will be a valuable companion to the previously published and highly appreciated History of Upper Teesdale.

NEW - Education Pack on Curlew

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The magical curlew is the subject of the latest Living Uplands educational resource. This new pack provides for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils, with lots of activity and learning for the classroom in school or at home.

Natural History content is live.

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Content for the Natural History section of the website has been under development over recent months. First to be added is an online access to the Natural History of Upper Teesdale book, the most recent edition published by Durham Wildlife Trust.

Free education resources available

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Free to use education resource provides teacher plans and pupil activity for Key State 1 & 2. Easy to download. First pack now available, more soon.

Moorland canvases

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Winners and runners-up in the "Views of Weardale" photo competition have each received a canvas copy print of their winning image. We hope that this memento will take pride of place on their walls.

Understanding the origins of 'blanket bog' on our Uplands.

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Blanket bog represents around 6% of UK land, and the popular view is that these expanses were created by early human populations clearing forest. Research suggests that climate rather than land-use history might explain blanket bog distribution.

Going underground.

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Exploring the fascinating underworld of the "Hypogenic Caves of the North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark"

Beneath the surface

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Exploring the fascinating underworld of the "Hypogenic Caves of the North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark"