Graze the Moor Project

Molland Moor

‘Graze the Moor’ was an innovative grazing project based on Molland Moor (681ha) on the southern edge of Exmoor National Park. It ran from April 2014 until March 2019 and followed a 2-year case study that took place 2012-2014.

Key findings:

  • Comparable levels of profitability between the experimental moorland system and conventional upland beef and sheep farming systems, based on preliminary findings.
  • Purple moor-grass has encroached into many areas of the moor that were formerly heather-dominated.
  • There is evidence of heather regeneration over 75 hectares of the moor, although longer term monitoring is needed.
  • Signs of an increase in breeding bird populations, including large, wintering flocks of golden plover.
  • An increase in heather beetle attacks that, in combination with other stress factors, are substantially contributing to ongoing heather loss.
  • The population of sheep ticks, which are carrying a wide range of diseases, is higher than expected.

A full copy of the final report can be found here