Isle of Man

Introduction

The Manx Mires Partnership project is currently surveying the depth and extent of upland peat on the Isle of Man. There are plans to start a more detailed survey of key areas, starting with an area of deeper peat which has historically been cut and drained. The survey will involve habitat condition assessment and details of peat condition. If funding allows, it is hoped that the depth and extent of lowland peat will also be surveyed in the future.

Description

Up until recently there has been little information as to the extent and depth of peat cover on the uplands of the Isle of Man. The initial survey in this project has been focused on measuring the extent and depth of peat, with plans to focus on more detailed surveys of key areas. Two areas have been identified as a starting point for detailed survey and restoration plans. These are the northern slopes of Beinn-y-Phott and a section of Snaefell. Beinn-y-Phott has fairly deep peat, but this has been cut and drained in the past and is actively eroding in places. It is currently grazed by sheep and has holding pens where damage by sheep is intensified. Areas of blanket bog were identified in a phase 1 survey of the site 25 years ago, but the majority of the habitat is acid grassland and dry heath. It is likely that the blanket bog habitat is being damaged by sheep.

Project Aims

Improved quality and increased extent of blanket bog habitat. Raised the water table. Reduced loss of peat through erosion of drainage grips and hags. Reduced carbon emissions from the peat.

Restoration Delivered

The project is still in the initial phase of measuring the depth and extent of the peat, although the detailed survey and restoration plans work is due to start imminently.

Manx Mires Partnership

This project is being run through the Manx Mires Partnership. Partners include Manx Wildlife Trust, Isle of Man Government Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) and Manx National Heritage, with support from land owners and tenant farmers. Funding has come from the Manx Lottery Trust, Manx National Heritage, Manx Wildlife Trust and DEFA.

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Project Name: Isle of Man

Organisation / Lead partner: Manx Wildlife Trust

Location: Isle of Man

Approximate area covered: 9000 ha

Predominately: Upland

Peat Habitats: Blanket bog, Upland heath

Project Type: Restoration, Management, Citizen science/ community engagement.

Year Project Began: 2017