The UK has over one tenth of the world’s moorland, and 70% of the world’s heather moorland, much of which is in the north and west of the country. While moorland will carry common characteristics, no area is exactly the same and each has its own uniqueness to celebrate.

Living Uplands is currently developing content that demonstrates the particular characteristics of Uplands, beginning with Teesdale and Weardale.

British moorlands often look harsh and lonely wildernesses, but they are mostly a man-made, highly managed landscape, with the use of regular burning enabling new heather growth assuring optimal habitat for endangered wildlife and reduction in the risk of catastrophic wildfire.

Moorland upland areas are acidic, and often waterlogged, with low-nutrient soils on deep peaty layers. In the cold, wind and wet conditions the dominant vegetation is the heather plant and hardy grasses able to grow.

Landscape management enhances the colours of the moorland with which we are all familiar; the pinks and purples of late summers’ heather, the browns of autumn, and soft hues of winter and spring. It also assures the range of plants that provide food for the birds, and appropriate cover for many ground-nesting birds. This is ideal countryside for small mammals and insects.   

Living Uplands looks forward to exploring the geology, hydrology, flora & vegetation, fauna, Life of our Uplands, and to developing complimentary educational resources.

Recent Updates


November 6th, 2019

An opportunity to win rare access to one of nature’s spectacular shows. Living Uplands is planning to develop a new online look at a Natural History of Weardale, working alongside Durham Wildlife Trust; a companion to the Natural History of Teesdale that DWT published last year.  To bring the area to life online we need… Read more »

Year 3 of our Bird Monitoring programme.

September 2nd, 2019

This has been the third year for a group from the Durham Wildlife Trust young volunteers to visit designated spots on the upland to count birds, in May and in July. The moor is a haven for a range of endangered birds on the BTO list of endangered British birds. We mention five below within our… Read more »

Going underground

July 16th, 2019

Day two of a weekend study on the fascinating underword of the “Hypogenic Caves of the North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark” brought a team from the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) and The North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark (NPUGG)  to the Fairy Hole cave system of Upper Weardale. The group spent a number of hours… Read more »

A promising time on the Uplands

July 10th, 2019

Late Spring and early summer has been a busy time on the uplands of Upper Weardale. This time-lapse video shows the remarkable energy of the early morning Black Grouse on the Lek. By now of course many of the young birds hatched in May and early June are almost ready to leave the nest. Late… Read more »