Moor fantastic than ever: Let’s Learn Moor 2023

A group of children listening to a lets learn moor talk

More than 2,000 children had the chance to ‘rescue’ their teachers with mountain rescue teams, solve rural crimes with the police and learn about the importance of the precious carbon-rich peatlands below their feet when the UK’s largest upland classroom returned last week.

Packed with fun, interactive lessons, schools from across the North of England attended Let’s Learn Moor 2023, which took place at eight locations from 3-7 July. 

During each event, the children met the people and organisations that help to protect our stunning moorland landscapes and species. They learned first-hand about the biodiversity on our moorlands, ranging from spongey sphagnum mosses to the iconic curlew. The children also sampled a delicious selection of wild food, with venison and pigeon on the menu for them to try.

A truly unique experience

More than 10,000 school pupils have now attended Let’s Learn Moor events since the project was launched in 2017. It is coordinated by Countryside Learning, BASC and the Regional Moorland Groups and involves more than 50 partner organisations.

John Cavana, of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Educational Trust, said:  “On behalf of the trust I would like to thank the schools, pupils, parents, teachers and other organisations for coming together to produce a five-star educational event, allowing moorland gamekeepers to showcase the wide range of biodiversity that is thriving under their management techniques. 

“The trust’s stand focused on teaching children about the Countryside Code, so that when they venture onto the moors they are more aware of the dos and don’ts of the countryside. Having a dog on hand to demonstrate their egg-stealing capabilities was useful, and I think the children enjoyed meeting a ferret as well!”  

Curtis Mossop, BASC’s head of education and outreach, said: Let’s Learn Moor has now provided in excess of 10,000 children with access to beautiful upland areas across northern England, an accomplishment we are exceptionally proud of. The success of the project is down to months of careful planning and close collaboration between a range of partners. Everyone involved is passionate about sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience with children, many of whom would never get this opportunity otherwise.  

“I would like to thank all those who have taken part since the project’s inception in 2017, but a special note of thanks must go to the Regional Moorland Groups and Countryside Learning who help to make this a truly unique experience.”  

Jen Chapman, assistant head at Bamford Primary School in the Peak District, said: “We have really enjoyed our Let’s Learn Moor day again this year. The children have enjoyed learning about the different aspects of moorland management, from controlled heather burning and animal management, to rural crime threats.   

“The day also highlighted the importance of the general public knowing its responsibilities when it comes to accessing and enjoying the local moorland.  

“It was insightful to learn about the importance of sphagnum moss and peat on the moors and we feel enthused to continue this learning back in the classroom so we can encourage our pupils to help to continue to protect our local environment.”  

Another teacher said: “This event is great for the children to learn more about the habitats, wildlife and farming that is on their doorstep, and to help them appreciate and look after what is here. It was an amazing experience for them – it’s so exciting for them to be able to sit on a tractor, use the water sprayers, stroke the dogs and touch the freshly-sheared “wool” from the sheep.” 

Part-funded by BASC legacy donations, the events were free to all schools involved, ensuring that there were no financial barriers to participation. Find out more about Let’s Learn Moor here.