A RECORD number of volunteers have been braving the elements throughout the winter to restore vital moorlands in Barnsley’s most rural outposts.

‘Moors for the Future’ members have been working at the once-damaged landscape around Dunford Bridge, bringing it back from a state of degradation caused by centuries of industrial pollution.

Teams of volunteers took to the hills to plant sphagnum moss, a plant which is vital to the repair of damaged moorland as it can soak up to 20 times its weight in water, stopping the moors from drying out and creating fresh peat.

Up until the spring – when the moors are left in order to allow ground-nesting birds to breed – volunteers planted over 40,000 plugs of sphagnum moss.

Will Ward, project manager, said: “The contribution of these enthusiastic and hardy volunteers is invaluable to our work and it’s always heartening to see how much the volunteers get from making a hands-on difference.

“If people are interested in joining our volunteers, they can contact us via our website at moorsforthefuture.org.uk.”