Working together for the future of Welsh peatlands

November 28, 2019

A major programme of works is underway this season to restore peatlands across Wales.

A large proportion of the 90,000 hectares of peat soils found in Wales are in unfavourable condition, so the Welsh Peatlands Sustainable Management Scheme (SMS) project is working with a host of conservation organisations, landowners, schools and stakeholders to tackle these peatlands and enthuse and educate the next generation. Together we have been working on peatlands across the country to deliver positive action on the ground:

  • 7000 metres of eroding peat haggs are being re-profiled in the Brecon Beacons National Park, reducing drainage and soil carbon loss
  • 1100 metres of low-level bunds have been constructed on a lowland raised bog on the Dyfi estuary, working with the RSPB to restore a vital habitat.
  • 10,000 conifer trees have been felled or removed from deep peat sites across Snowdonia National Park to stop the trees drying out the peat and releasing tonnes of stored carbon.  Watch our time lapse of forest-to-bog restoration in action:

                        

  • A tonne of heather bales were placed by hard working volunteers on the Snowdonia Society’s ‘Make a Difference’ (MaD) weekend, creating dams to re-wet an area of the Migneint blanket bog in Snowdonia.
  • Low level grazing is being introduced on 85 hectares of peatland across Wales, working with private landowners and graziers to control Molinia and conifer re-generation, and supporting the colonisation of natural, peat-forming vegetation.
  • 10 hectares of scrub vegetation has been removed from a lowland peatland in Llyn Llech Owain, working with Carmarthenshire County Council to help restore the peatland’s natural vegetation.
  • 140 local primary school children in North Wales have been learning about the importance of peatlands and how to safeguard them for the future, in a joint venture with the Fferm Ifan Sustainable Management Scheme.
  • Our project staff have also been busy working with Welsh Universities and the Field Studies Council to design and run research projects and education programmes on our peatlands.

This work will help set these habitats on the path to good condition, delivering a range of important benefits to society and the environment.  Healthy peatlands help to tackle climate change by storing large amounts of carbon.  They also filter our water, help reduce flood risk, and provide homes for rare and unique wildlife. We will continue working together to deliver restoration and education across our Welsh peatlands to safeguard the future of Wales’ precious peatlands.

The Welsh Peatlands SMS is a national partnership project developed by the Welsh Peatland Action Group to help deliver the Ministerial ambition of bringing Wales’ peatlands into sustainable management, and is funded through the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and the European Union’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The three year project is led by Snowdonia National Park Authority, in partnership with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, IUCN UK Peatland Programme, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Natural Resources Wales, and Swansea University.

Sphagnum moss harvesting at trial site, Greifswald Mire Centre © Tobias Dahms
Wet agriculture - a tool in the climate action toolboxWith the urgent need to reduce our carbon emissions wherever possible, complimenting traditional…
Money for peatland restoration
Budget announcements for UK peatland restoration Peatlands received a welcome funding boost in the UK Budget 2020.  In a move to support the…
Peatlands in the EU post CAP
Peatlands in the UK beyond Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)The IUCN UK Peatland Programme continues to feed into the international peatland agenda, recently…
Afforested peatland restoration at Forsinard  © Neil Cowie/RSPB
Peatland & Trees position statement releasedThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme have released a position statement and recommendations on Trees on…
Caithness Wildfire, 2019 © Paul Turner
Burning & Peatlands Position StatementThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme have updated our position statement on Burning and Peatlands which…
Dubh lochans and blanket bog at The Flows NNR near Forsinard, Caithness. June 2011 ©Lorne Gill/SNH/2020VISION
Scottish Budget 2020-21The Scottish Government announces £20 million for peatland restoration and a commitment to invest £…
Land use: policies for a Net Zero UK CCC report
Committee on Climate Change Report on Land Use: Policies for a Net Zero UKThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme welcomes strengthened policy and legislative recommendations in the…
Multiple effects of peatland drainage
New resource available: Explaining the impact of peatland drainage.Illustrating the multiple effects of peatland drainage including implications for carbon emissions…
Managed burning of heather © North Pennines AONB
A burning issue: comparison between Australian & UK fire management misses the mark. The news of the ongoing Australian fires is deeply concerning both in terms of the impact on people…
IUCN Resolution 43 reporting
IUCN Resolution 43 reportingNew report on progress under IUCN Resolution 43: Securing the future of global peatlands available…
Langlands Moss Restoration works underway
Langlands Moss Restoration works underwayLanglands Moss Local Nature Reserve, on the south edge of East Kilbride, Scotland is set to be…
Snowdonia Society volunteers creating heather bale dams on the Migneint, Snowdonia. © Dan Struthers Photography
Working together for the future of Welsh peatlandsA major programme of works is underway this season to restore peatlands across Wales. A large…