Peatlands: Investing in the Future - Thursday 3rd October, 2019
Session 1: Peatland Restoration - emerging ideas and current challenges
From left to right: Session topics included: Peatland restoration & the historic environment; Approaches to vegetation cutting for conservation management; The role of the peatland community in going peat-free and Restoration of milled peat sites.
A: Problems, potential and best practice? Peatland archaeology, heritage and related issues.
In this session delegates were encouraged to share their experiences and knowledge of archaeology, heritage and related issues in the context of peatland conservation and restoration programmes.
Chair: Richard Lindsay, University of East London
- The Cinderella syndrome? Archaeology and peatland restoration. Dr Ben Gearey, University College Cork (no presentation available)
- Exmoor : A Case Study, peatland restoration and the historic environment. Morag Angus, Exmoor Mires Partnership
- WetFutures? Peatland Heritage, Perception, Protection and Policy. Dr Kim Davies, University College Cork
B: Approaches to vegetation cutting for conservation management purposes.
This session explored the use of vegetation cutting as a peatland restoration tool - promoting
discussion around the scenarios and peatland habitats in which vegetation cutting may be used to
achieve restoration goals and presented new technical approaches, knowledge gaps and areas for
Chair: Christopher Dean, Moors for the Future Partnership
- An introduction to vegetation cutting approaches across peatland habitats. Iain Diack, Natural England
- Using the Pistenbully to achieve site based raised bog restoration goals. Jack Simpson, LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs
- Using state of the art cutting machinery to achieve site based blanket bog restoration goals. Erin Madden, Moors for the Future Partnership
C: The role of the peatland restoration community in going peat-free
This session shared experiences from both peatland restoration partnerships who have adopted
peat-free purchasing policies - excercising their purchasing power to reduce demand for horticultural
products grown in peat, as well as the innovations and challenges associated with supplying
peat-free peatland plants for landscape scale restoration.
Chair & overview: Tim Thom, Pennine PeatLIFE and Yorkshire Peat Partnership
- Going peat-free in practice: a peatland restoration partnership perspective. Alistair Lockett, Pennine PeatLIFE (no presentation available)
- Going peat-free in practice: innovations and challenges of supplying peat-free plants for landscape scale restoration purposes. Neal Wright, Micropropogation Services
D: Restoration of milled peat sites
This session discussed the successes, challenges and need to restore peat extraction sites.
Chair: Emma Goodyer, IUCN UK Peatland Programme
- Rehabilitation of industrial cutaway peatlands. David Fallon, Bord na Móna
- Restoring milled peat sites: successes, challenges, lessons learnt from Bolton Fell moss and Wedholme flow. Deborah Land & Emma Austin, Natural England, Cumbrian Bogs LIFE+
Session 2: Prioritising monitoring, research and evidence
From left to right: Session topics included: Peatland condition assessment & monitoring; Peatland exposure to atmospheric nitrogen deposition; Filling evidence gaps to inform sustainable management and Demonstrating ecological restoration of recovering peatlands.
A: Peatland condition assessment & monitoring
This session discussed ways of evaluating peatland condition from low-tech solutions to virtual reality (VR) visualisations.
Chair: Iain Diack, Natural England
- Describing peatland condition through simple, consistent and robust monitoring: 'Eyes on the Bog' and beyond. Richard Lindsay, University of East London. More information about Eyes on the Bog.
B: Peatland Exposure to Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition
This session discussed researching ecosystem sensitivity, response & recovery of peatland habitats exposed to atmospheirc nitrogen deposition.
Chair: Sara McGuckin, Head of Natural Science, NIEA Natural Environment Division
- Nitrogen Deposition and the threat to our Natural Environment – An Overview. Keith Finegan, NIEA Natural Environment Division
- Long-Term Impacts of Nitrogen Deposition & Evidence of Recovery – Whim Bog and Moninea Bog. Netty Van Dijk, Centre of Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
- Atmospheric Nitrogen Input to Ballynahone Bog SAC: Measuring, Modelling & Understanding Ecological Impacts. Áine O’Reilly, NIEA Natural Environment Division
C: Filling evidence gaps to inform sustainable management.
This session introduced a research and monitoring initiative in Wales that aims to more effectively
and efficiently fill priority evidence gaps in the sustainable management of Welsh peatlands. Delegates were encouraged to help develop and deliver this initiative by sharing their experiences, feedback, ideas and opportunities.
Chair: Emma Goodyer, IUCN UK Peatland Programme
- Developing a network of research sites across Welsh peatlands. Dr. Jonathan Walker, Swansea University
- Identifying and filling evidence gaps towards the sustainable management of peatlands in Wales. Professor Cindy Froyd, Swansea University
- Standardised peatland monitoring protocols to more widely and consistently monitor changes in the condition of Welsh peatlands. Dr. Alan Radbourne, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
D: Demonstrating ecological restoration of recovering peatland sites.
This session shared evidence from long term research and monitoring of peatland restoration sites.
Chair: John Martin, RSPB
- Monitoring peatland rehabilitation in Ireland – progress and challenges. Mark McCorry, Bord na Móna
- Past, present and future of monitoring of raised bogs in Ireland by National Parks & Wildlife Service. Fernando Fernandez, National Parks & Wildlife Service
- Blanket bog restoration monitoring at RSPB Geltsdale. Steve Garnett, RSPB
Session 3: Engaging with key stakeholders at a practical & policy level
Left to right: Session topics included: Bringing peat to broad audiences; implementing policy & acknowledging international significance across peatland habitats; Community driven peatland restoration & engagement and Engaging land managers in practical restoration - Using the Peatland Code to access new funding streams.
A: Bringing peat to broad audiences
Chair: Sarah Proctor, IUCN UK Peatland Programme
- Below the Blanket – a landscape art installation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh as part of the International Fringe Festival. Caroline Eccles, Flow Country Partnership
- Engaging rural & urban audiences with the interactive, mobile Bogtastic van. Erin Madden, Moors for the Future Partnership
- Give peat a chance: Using a giving campaign as an engagement tool. Lyndon Marquis, Yorkshire Peat Partnership
B: Implementing policy and acknowledging international significance across peatland habitats.
Chair: Jennifer Fulton, Ulster Wildlife
- An introduction to working collaboratively across peatland habitats & with internationally significant designation. Trish Fox, Collaborative Action for the Natura Network (CANN)
- An opportunity for discussion: Establishing England Peat Strategy Pilots in a cross-section of different peatland ecosystems and farming systems. Naomi Oakley, Natural England
- Developing a UNESCO World Heritage Site bid in the Flow Country. Joe Perry, Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group
C: Community driven peatland restoration and engagment
Chair: Chris Dean, Moors for the Future Partnership
- Introduction to The Abbeyleix Bog Project, a local community project, established in 2000 to conserve and protect the bog which was threatened with harvesting for peat moss, is now responsible for its management over the next 50 years. Chris Uys, Abbeyleix & Community Wetlands Forum
- Engaging local communities to assist with Living Bog project actions. Ronan Casey, The Living Bog Project.
D: Engaging land managers in practical restoration - Using the Peatland Code to access new
This session highlighted that real progress is being made with putting the Peatland Code into practice across the UK, although its not without its difficulties! The Welsh Peatlands Sustainable Management Scheme and Pennine PeatLIFE projects shared their experiences so far, and its clear that common challenges are being encountered along the way. This presents an opportunity for developing common solutions, possibly even an improved version of the Code, to help leverage the investment that UK peatlands so desperately need.
Chair: Tim Thom, Pennine PeatLIFE
- An introduction to The Peatland Code - an innovative voluntary mechanism for business to engage with peatland restoration. Jillian Hoy, IUCN UK Peatland Programme
- Using the Peatland Code in practice - case study. Chris Miller, Pennine PeatLIFE
- Using the Peatland Code in practice - case study. Marian Pye, Welsh Peatland Sustainable Management Scheme