Our work

Monitoring habitats

Vegetation surveys are one aspect of the work of our survey volunteers © National Trust

Vegetation surveys are one aspect of the work of our survey volunteers

Our team of survey volunteers meet weekly to monitor the changes on the estate. They look at how much the conservation work has improved the estate, as well as carrying out bird surveys and vegetation surveys.

Improving footpaths

All the flagged footpaths are done by volunteers © National Trust

All the flagged footpaths are done by volunteers

Footpath improvements have been one of our major projects over the last few years. We have been improving a number of paths on the estate, using large stone flags from the floors of old mills.

Blocking up gullies

Dam construction in different stages © National Trust

Dam construction in different stages

Gully blocking is one method we use to manage the moors and prevent peat erosion. We do this on two main areas on the estate, but using different techniques. Volunteers help us to do a lot of our practical work on the estate.

Patrolling the moors

Patrols take place throughout the year © National Trust

Patrols take place throughout the year

At Marsden Moor, a group of volunteers have been set up to carry out patrols of the moors. This gives the National Trust a presence on the moors and we can keep an eye out for any damage that needs repairing. It is also a chance for spotting interesting wildlife. Patrols take place throughout the whole year.

Working with the community

Groups can come and visit the estate and have a guided walk © National Trust

Groups can come and visit the estate and have a guided walk

We are keen for everyone to discover and enjoy Marsden Moor.  Find out about the different groups we work with and how to get in touch if you would like to plan a visit.

Perfect plants

  • Our volunteer plant group grow plants for us to sell
  • The money raised goes towards our moorland management work
  • Plant sales take place each Friday from spring through to autumn
  • We sell from our yard in Marsden, and also at various shows events
  • Plant sales are the biggest source of income at Marsden Moor

Partnership working

Managing conflict


Some moorland is managed by burning the vegetation. However, on Marsden Moor this method of management is never used.

Fire is a continual threat to the moors in early spring and summer. If the moors are very dry, just dropping a cigarette is enough to start a fire which will then be carried with the wind.

If a fire has a deep burn, it can get into the peat and burn for weeks.

Off-road bikes

Off-road motorbikes and quad bikes are illegal on the moors, but this is a continual battle for us. They can damage so much vegetation and peat in such a short amount of time, as well as being a danger and a nuisance to other recreational users of the moors.

Please help us to end this problem by calling the West Yorkshire Police (external link) if you see an off-road bike.

Bird nesting season

During bird nesting season, which is between April and July, paths must be stuck to when out on the estate to create as little disturbance as possible to the ground nesting birds.

Work on the estate must be managed effectively to ensure that we won't be working away from paths during these months.

Fires during these months can have a devestating effect on the nesting birds.