Urra Moor

On the highest point of the North York Moors, just a few metres off the the Cleveland Way National Trail, the Lyke Wake Walk and the Coast to Coast Walk is this sorry sight. A vain attempt to restore the blanket bog and heather moorland. Heather bales have been used to block the many ditches built by the landowners to drain the moor in the belief that better growing conditions for the heather will produce a bigger bag of grouse. Too little, too late is an appropriate catchphrase with compete erosion of the peat leaving acres of sterile wastes.

The degradation may have begun in the 1930s. Bill Cowley, writing twenty years later, records that Urra Moor was only then just beginning to recover from a major moorland fire prior to WW2.

Urra Moor map

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