The primary aims of Thorne & Hatfield Moors Papers are twofold:

  1. To aid and facilitate the conservation of Thorne and Hatfield Moors.
  2. To assist in the understanding and documentation of the geology, palaeoecology, ecology, flora, fauna, archaeology and history of Thorne and Hatfield Moors. Reinforced by its multi-disciplinary approach, the journal also has a role in the dissemination of information about the Moors.

Further, the journal promotes the understanding, documentation and conservation of similar or associated sites throughout the whole of the Humberhead Levels Natural Area. It is therefore a platform for publication about the Levels, but with especial emphasis on Thorne and Hatfield Moors.

Satisfying the first of the primary aims, the promotion of conservation, the following subjects are covered:

  1. Floral and fauna reviews, to provide baseline data and a broad knowledge of the site or habitat under scrutiny.
  2. Ecological reviews of particular taxonomic groups. These provide an interpretation of basic species lists, and offer conservation guidelines or management prescriptions.
  3. Reviews placing aspects of the Moors, or other sites, in their regional and national contexts.
  4. Historical sensu lato reviews of particular groups, communities or subjects. These show the scale of losses or change in different periods, and the relative value and sensitivity of what remains.
  5. Habitat description and evaluation, which has three functions:
  6. i. To emphasise the importance of particular parts or aspects of the sites.
    ii. To help convince relevant statutory bodies to schedule or protect them.
    iii. To persuade landowners to value them.

  7. Papers discussing the course, and effects, of particular processes or events on some or all of the biota, artefacts or landscape. These can provide new information about the threats pby changes in moorland or other management.

Documentation and interpretation, the second of the primary aims, are also of great importance, not least because they are the more immediate and tangible of the journal’s functions. Contributions of varying complexity and length are present, covering the relevant ranges of the natural and earth sciences, archaeology and history. Some are commissioned work from statutory and voluntary bodies, others emanate from universities, museums and specialist units involved in fieldwork and research. However, papers – anecdotal to statistical – from independent naturalists, archaeologists and historians also play an important role in the journal.

Despite the journal title, interest is not restricted to Thorne and Hatfield Moors.