Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands SPA - CABB

Introduction

The CABB project was launched in 2017 and objectives for Muirkirk and North Lowther include peatland restoration on both RSPB managed land (Airds Moss) and privately-owned land, habitat management and demonstration on RSPB managed land and advisory engagement with upland land managers.

Description

This is an upland site with the majority of the SPA privately managed for agriculture, typically sheep grazing. Large sections of the moorland are SNH Priority 1 peatland of national importance and over 70% of the SPA blanket bog has been modified through gripping or erosion. 

Project Aims

We aim to restore previously forested peatland at RSPB Airds Moss, and in partnership with farmers and land managers, SPA peatland on estates and farms.

Restoration Delivered

Shiel Farm – 27ha of previously forested peatland at RSPB Airds Moss restored through stump flipping and ditch blocking. Funded through the CABB project.

Tardoes – a 2 phase restoration of 825ha, involving ditch blocking and reprofiling works. Funded by Peatland ACTION.

Weatherhill and Kyle Farm – 48ha and 77ha respectively, restored through ditch blocking and reprofiling works. Funded through the CABB project.

Site Activity

Since 2017 we have been undertaking annual peatland vegetation management at Airds Moss to reduce Molinia dominance and improve sward structure for breeding Curlew and other bird species.

Our partners

Two of our key partners are CEI (East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative) and Mines Restoration Ltd., and we have been building partnerships and working agreements with estates and tenant farmers who have ground within the SPA.
 

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Project Name: Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands SPA - CABB

Organisation / Lead partner: RSPB

Location: East Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, South Lanarkshire

Approximate area covered: 26000 ha

Conservation Status: Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA)

Predominately: Upland

Peat Habitats: Blanket bog, Upland heath

Project Type: Restoration, Management

Year Project Began: 2017

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