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Find the latest publications, briefings and reports from the IUCN UK Peatland Programme.

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Peatland Catchments


Flooding costs an estimated £1.3bn per year1 and has a significant impact on land use and communities. There have been a number of assertions in the media about links between both upland and lowland land management practices and the incidence and severity of downstream flooding. Natural flood management (NFM) is gaining policy attention and funding, and there are now a few projects that are specifically exploring the links between peatland condition and flood dynamics, such as ‘Making space for water’ and ‘iCASP’.

The Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands (2011) focussed on the evidence relating to peatland condition and water quality. We are now in a position to examine some of the emerging evidence on peatland condition and hydrological dynamics.


Expand on the previous review of within site hydrology to explore the new science around catchment scale hydrology and policy interest around natural flood management. Including, but not exclusive to:

  • Controls on peatland hydrology including artificial controls on hydrology such as drainage and pumping
  • Generation of and dynamics of surface water flows
  • Is peatland conservation and restoration an effective tool in the NFM toolbox? What is the effect of peatland management (e.g. drainage, forestry, burning, restoration) on catchment hydrology?
  • Are there any case studies that can be used to highlight the interplay between peatland management and catchment hydrology?
  • As far as possible, quantify any of the headline costs (£) associated with peatland state and hydrological dynamics. Include case-studies where relevant
  • Provide a summary of the remaining evidence gaps. Produce protocols for the monitoring and assessment of peatland hydrology and related variables to address these knowledge gaps. Include estimated costs.


Teams are expected to work independently and be co-ordinated by the lead author. IUCN UK Peatland Programme will be available to support any workshop and stakeholder engagement required for completion of the report.

A workshop with all topic authors and relevant stakeholders to scope out topic content plus additional workshops as required. Expenses are available (if selected on application) for travel but workshops can be conducted via Skype/phone as required.

A written report of no more than 30 pages
Where possible, a consensus view should be reached amongst the author team and any stakeholder groups.  Where a consensus is not attainable, the arguments should be clearly presented and knowledge gaps summarised. Where possible, suggest protocols for research to address these knowledge gaps.

Summary briefing
A plain-English summary of the key findings of the report and recommendations for future work (no more than two pages in length). Case studies are encouraged to provide examples of key points.

An element of graphical representation
At least one of a) a graphical abstract; b) a key summary diagram; or c) an infographic. The graphics used should represent the topic as a whole or key aspects of the topic. Authors should ensure that graphical elements of the report are presented in such a way that the information is clear. IUCN UK Peatland Programme has a small budget set aside to allow a designer to enhance the graphics presented in the technical report and to ensure that all graphics within the Commission of Inquiry update report are presented utilising similar design.

Presentation of findings
Lead author or nominated co-author to attend the Open Inquiry Event and the option to present aspects of the topic at the 2018 IUCN UK Peatland Programme annual conference.

Please send completed application forms to info@iucn.org.uk and include 'Commission of Inquiry Call for Experts' in the subject line. The deadline for applications is on 19th July 2017 and appointments will be made before the end of August 2017.

1 Defra figures, total cost 2013/14 floods