MICCI = Moorland Indicators of Climate Change Initiative

The MICCI project is getting school students to help with real scientific research, to answer this key question:

Small pool of peaty water amongst heather on a wide moorland
Peat moors in good condition soak up and store carbon

Are upland moorlands storing carbon (good for climate change) or releasing carbon (bad for climate change)?

School students help work out what experiments are needed, and then head off onto upland moorlands to collect the data. All the data is then analysed by the Moors for the Future partnership, and is used by real scientific researchers who are trying to work out how to best improve and conserve moorland environments.

Why moorlands and why UK National Parks?

Peat moorlands are our biggest store, or source of carbon.

Bare moorland with grey brown peaty soil
Peat moors in bad condition release carbon into the atmosphere

UK woodlands store 150 million tonnes of carbon
UK peat moors store 3 billion tonnes of carbon - that's 20 times as much.

The UK's National Parks are protected because of their stunning scenery, open countryside and ecologically important habitats. Many of them contain large upland areas or lowland moors, and this means that nearly all UK National Parks contain peat moorlands. They are all popular with visitors and they all need to supply natural resources to their local communities.

This makes the national parks, and our learning teams, ideal places to study the effects of human impact on peat moorlands and the effect that this could have on climate change.

Watch this video explaining the MoorLIFE project and why it is important to the Peak District and the southern Pennine moorlands: 

MICCI explained

Listen to Peak District Learning Discovery Officer Chris Robinson discuss the MICCI Project in an 18 March 2014 Interview with High Peak Radio. (Clicking the link will open a new MP3 window in your browser)

Hear from our students - Talking the MICCI

Students from around the Peak District National Park made this film about their work on the MICCI project and what they've learnt from it.

Achievements so far:

  • More than 50 schools groups have taken part, in 11 different national parks, across England, Wales and Scotland
  • Students see a real link between their local environment and the global issue of climate change
  • Matches curriculum needs; human activities on the environment, applying scientific thinking and methods in the real world, ecosystem services, an understanding of climate change and gives students access and insights into real working scientists
  • Enables scientists to engage with students and the wider public about their research
  • Helps national parks show the special qualities of their environments and the need to protect natural resources and ecosystem services