IUCN UK Peatland Programme

Discussion sessions - Day 3, 2019

Ballynahone bog at dawn © Ben Hall

Discussion sessions - Day 3, 2019

Peatlands: Investing in the Future - Thursday 3rd October, 2019 

Session 1: Peatland Restoration - emerging ideas and current challenges

A selection of Peatland Restoration messages

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


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

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


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


Session 2: Prioritising monitoring, research and evidence

Presentations from sessions focusing on prioritising monitoring & research

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


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

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


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


Session 3: Engaging with key stakeholders at a practical & policy level

Presentations exploring engaging with stakeholders

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


B: Implementing policy and acknowledging international significance across peatland habitats.

Chair: Jennifer Fulton, Ulster Wildlife

C: Community driven peatland restoration and engagment

Chair: Chris Dean, Moors for the Future Partnership


D: Engaging land managers in practical restoration - Using the Peatland Code to access new
funding streams. 

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


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