Adaptive Management

Shifting management of drained peatlands under intensive productive use to deliver wetter ways of farming


Image © Clifton Bain

Adaptive Management

Some existing land uses currently rely on maintaining drainage of peatlands. Resulting negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts can be reduced by providing new products that thrive on wet peatland soils, minimising the need for drainage. This represents an opportunity to maintain farming livelihoods and generate new enterprises within UK agriculture.

The UK Peatland Strategy highlights the following objectives for adaptive management of peatlands:  

  • Improve farming practices on peat soil to slow the loss of soil carbon by encouraging:
    • Partial conversion of ploughed land to grass conversion e.g. buffer strips, field corner management etc.
    • Other practices to reduce soil and soil carbon loss in the absence of re-wetting
    • Water management to encourage higher water levels within the peat soils.
  • Develop and introduce wetland agriculture systems to the UK:
    • Trial new systems for and new ways of working that can reduce the carbon impact of agricultural practices on peat soils. This will include the trial and development of novel crops.
    • Look to new markets for products from sustainably managed peatlands and develop alternative products where the use of peatland is unsustainable. In doing this, ensure that the burden of any impacts is not exported to other countries.

To achieve the following outcomes:

  • The impact of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural use of peat is reduced through a shift to better farming
  • The distribution and extent of agricultural peat soils across the UK is maintained through the introduction of new soil management regimes and cropping systems.

The milestones to help monitor progress against these outcomes are:

2020 - Vision agreed for agricultural soils.
2030 - Early opportunities are being delivered for agricultural peat soils to bring them under sustainable
management regimes.
2040 - Vision for agricultural peat soils is delivered.
 

IUCN UK PP Conference 2021
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021 - Save the dateSave the Dates: 13th - 16th September 2021
Minister Poots pictured with Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife
Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy ConsultationEnvironment Minister, Edwin Poots has launched a public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland…
Virtual Peatland Pavilion
Peatland Pavilion proposal for COP26 programmeOpportunity to contribute to and participate in proposing and shaping the first ever dedicated…
Diggers on Bwlch y Groes
Wales’ first carbon-funded peatland restoration project is complete!A peatland restoration project at Bwlch y Groes on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park is the…
England launches Peat Action Plan
England launches Peat Action PlanThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme welcomes the long-awaited publication of the England Peat Action…
Screenshot of PeatDatHub database
Launch of the PeatDataHub PeatDataHub is a research hub for communicating peatland science and managing peatland monitoring…
Eyes on the Bog equipment displayed on Water Works site
Eyes on the Bog monitoring at the Water Works projectJack Clough (University of East London’s) takes us through the process of installing an Eyes on the…
Helicopter flying over Moors for the Future site with restoration materials
Moors for the Future deliver biggest conservation season yet in a challenging yearAgainst a backdrop of ever-changing circumstances and a challenging year for nature, Moors for the…
Musician Sarah Smout on Fleet Moss with her cello
Yorkshire Peat Partnership: A music video on Fleet MossWith the help of Yorkshire Peat Parnership, musician Sarah Smout filmed a music video on Fleet Moss…
Cottongrass on peatland © Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project
Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project and Australian Wetlands Collaboration puts Arts Council England Funding to WorkThe ‘Mosses and Marshes’ project has newly been awarded a grant from Arts Council England.
Sphagnum moss © Moors for the Future Partnership
Study monitors single-species sphagnum plug growth on blanket bogThe study by Moors for the Future Partnership was carried out to discover the most effective…
British Ecological Society nature-based solutions graphic (city and train)
British Ecological Society: Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change in the UK ReportThe British Ecological Society have today published their landmark report offering the first…