Talla, Gameshope & Carrifran
The Talla, Gameshope & Carrifran peatland restoration project covers six pockets of degraded peatland totalling 104.12 ha in the Scottish Borders, near Moffat. It is part of a much larger landscape scale restoration project. Borders Forest Trust took ownership of Talla & Gameshope in 2013 with the overriding objective of restoring this intensively grazed, extensive area of hill ground and associated upland valleys to their natural state. More than 220,000 trees and shrubs have been planted at Talla & Gameshope since 2013.
This peatland restoration project covers over 100 ha of degraded blanket bog. One of these areas - Rotten Bottom - is historically significant. A broken bow was found in the bog which dated back 6000 years to hunter gatherer inhabitants. This alerted the attention of the scientific community, who proceeded to take a core sediment sample from the peat. From this sample, the pollen count from 1000s of years ago painted the picture of the tree species mix that dominated at the time, prior to significant human intervention. This informed the replanting of Carrifran Wildwood which began in 2000.
The aim of the project is to deliver the restoration of 3.54 ha of actively eroding and 85.96 ha of drained blanket bog (as has been defined within the Peatland Code field protocol), totalling 89.5 ha. The objective from carrying out this work is to deliver a range of co-benefits, alongside a reduction of future emissions. These co-benefits include improved conditions for biodiversity, supporting higher flora, fauna. Increased insect populations provides food for red-list species including Black Grouse and Hen Harriers. The restoration will work to improve resilience of fish populations (due to enhanced water storage capacity of these upland areas), and enhanced water catchment management in the Tweed catchment which is prone to flooding.
The restoration has taken place, from which these sites are already benefitting. New pools were found to be forming on the restoration sites in the summer of 2021, with reports of dragonflies spotted actively defending the pools.
Another key objective of the project is to demonstrate the advantages of blending private and public funding sources. It is hoped that the ability to deliver a project of this scale, and to ensure its long term management using both funding sources will act as an exemplar for other projects to follow.
Project Name: Talla, Gameshope & Carrifran
Organisation / Lead partner: Forest Carbon Ltd
Location: Moffat, Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway
Approximate area covered: 104 ha
Conservation Status: Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Peat Habitats: Blanket bog
Project Type: Restoration
Year Project Began: 2020
Peatland Code site: Peatland Code site - Under development