Papers – Volume 2

Volume 2

Edited by Clifton Bain and Brian Eversham. Published 1991. Pp.(two)1- 45; six tables and nine figures. Out of stock
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Editorial – Brian C. Eversham and Clifton Bain

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Thorne and Hatfield Moors – Implications of Land Use Change for Nature Conservation – Brian C. Eversham

This paper deals with the impact of human activity on the two Moors. It describes the aspects of historical and modern land use which are responsible for the range of present-day habitats; it also briefly characterises the wildlife of these habitats.
This paper considers the role of human activity in shaping wildlife habitats on and around the two Moors, and how technological changes now threaten these habitata. In the post-mediaeval period, three major human activities have affected the peatlands themselves and adjacent non-peat habitats

  • reclamation, especially by warping
  • peat cutting
  • drainage

‘Reclamation’ has occasionally produced semi-natural non-peat habitats in place of peatlands, and drainage has often been linked with the other two processes.
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Peat Cutting and the Invertebrate Fauna of Lowland Peatland: Thorne and Hatfield Moors in a national context. – Roger S. Key

Lowland fen peatlands are among the richest habitats in Britain for their invertebrate fauna. Lowland acid peatlands, the raised mires such as those of the Humberhead Levels, west Wales and the Solway, naturally support less species-rich communities of invertebrates than do their fenland counterparts, but those species that do occur there tend to be specialists with exacting life history requirements., vulnerable to change in their habitat. The diversity of fauna of these acid peatlands is augmented by species inhabiting the natural interface between lowland mire and surrounding vegetation, often fen, poor fen, reedswamp or carr, as well as the true inhabitants of these other types of habitat. The current total number of species of insect rcorded from Thorne Moors in the Humberhead Levels is in excess of 2,500, and this total is being added to annually. Hatfield Moors has been far less intensively studied, but still has a diverse recorded fauna, with a high proportion of rare and scarce species.
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Changes in the Invertebrate Fauna of Thorne and Hatfield Moors – Brian C. Eversham and Peter Skidmore

The past and present insect fauna of Thorne Moors is unusually well documented. Hatfield Moors has consistently received less attention from naturalists than Thorne Moors. Because of this historical and continuing imbalance of recording, this paper concentrates on the changes which Thorne Moors fauna has undergone in the last 170 years, and fewer examples are drawn from hatfield Moors. However, the fragmentary information which exists strongly suggests that Hatfield Moors has suffered in the same ways, and probably to an even greater degree, than Thorne Moors, although its flora and fauna are different in several important respects.
This paper deals only with changes since the 1820s, when the first written records and museum specimens from the Moors bagan to be kept. It thus focuses on the period after forest clearance, when first drainage and then peat cutting became the dominant factors influencing the fauna.
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The Importance of Thorne and Hatfield Moors for Vertebrate Fauna – Martin Limbert

The first meaningful vertebrates records from Thorne and Hatfield Moors date from the 18th century, and emanate from the Crowle antiquary George Stovin. He alluded to several game and predatory species, including Red Kite, Grey Partridge, Black Grouse, Curlew, Snipe, Fox and Brown Hare.Subsequent and more continuous vertebrates recording begin in 1821 at Thorne (Ruff, Nightjar) and in 1836 at Hatfield (Marsh harrier and introduced Red Grouse). From these years to the present day vertebrates documentation has progressed, ranging from incidental records to long-term fieldwork and literature searching. There has always been a perhaps inevitable bias towards birds. The first organised visits were undertaken to Thorne Moors by the Sheffield Field Naturalists Society, and to Hatfield Moors by the Goole Scientific Society in 1878. The formation of both the Goole society and the Yorkshitre Naturalists Union in the 1870s provided a great stimulus to corporate and ‘freelance’ fieldwork and associated documentation, especially at Thorne.The organisations and individuals concerned were often relatively local, though others were more far-flung.
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