ScottishPower Renewables winter 2021 peatland restoration activity

February 4, 2021

 

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) have now completed 1267ha of deforested bog restoration using their “ground smoothing” technique, and 535ha of drain damming using their “wave damming” peat dam innovation. Both of these techniques were developed by Strath Caulaidh Ltd on SPR projects as part of early research experiments to develop better techniques for blanket bog restoration. The techniques have proven to be extremely effective in restoration blanket bog from historical degradation right up to the edges of the windfarm infrastructure. They have also proven to mitigate associated environmental impacts on water quality which can occur with peatland restoration projects, with ground smoothing planned strategically at a catchment scale to minimise effects on Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and then undertaken in circa. 0.5ha cells surrounded by 5m untreated buffers to filter Particulate Organic Carbon (POC). The wave damming technique requires no borrow pit so significantly reduces disturbance of peat, as well as being much quicker to install than traditional peat dams enabling closer spacing which inherently reduces risk of failure.

 

Within their current portfolio SPR have a further 1540ha of deforested blanket bog to restore including the nearly completed Halsary windfarm site in Caithness which is connected to the Caithness and Sutherland Flows SSSI/SAC. Their drain damming work has a further 69ha to be completed, although have proposals to do more in future renewables developments currently in the planning process. A summary of their restoration work is provided in the table below:

 

Status

Drained blanket bog

Deforested blanket bog

Completed

535ha

1267ha

In progress Sept 2020-Apr 2021

N/A

320ha

Planned Sept 2021-Apr 2025

69ha

1540ha

 

The scale of drain damming is now clearly visible from the air thanks to updated imagery available on Google Maps at the following links:

Black Law
Whitelee

 

View further information about peatland restoration work being undertaken by SPR: 

 

 

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