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Marsden Moor history

Marsden Moor is an internationally important landscape for two reasons. First and foremost it carries numerous protective designations for its importance as peat moorland which provides a vital habitat for upland breeding birds. Secondly and less well known, is its importance as a prehistoric site from the Mesolithic period, when Stone Age people used the moors as hunting grounds and there are numerous sites where evidence of these activities have been found.

In 1955 the 2500 hectares that make up Marsden Moor were handed to The National Trust by the National Land Fund. The fund had been established after the Second World War to protect important sites from threats from planning in remembrance of those who had lost their lives in conflict and many sites were given in lieu of death duties. This was the case for Marsden Moor which had previously belonged to the Radcliffe family.The land is classified as open common and is grazed by sheep owned by commoners who have historic rights to graze common land.

Today a small team of staff and volunteers work tirelessly to restore and protect these important habitats for future generations. The Marsden Moor Estate relies heavily on grant funding, donations and sales of plants raised by a volunteer plant group to fund the works.There is a small exhibition about the estate in Marsden village which is free to enter where you can pick up leaflets about events and walks.