Welsh Peatlands Project (Sustainable Management Scheme)

Introduction

The Welsh Peatlands Sustainable Management Scheme is a collaborative project funded by the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities–Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and the European Union’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to help deliver the Ministerial target of bringing Wales' peatlands into sustainable management by 2020.     Co-ordinated action will deliver multiple environmental benefits through collaboration with existing mechanisms together with capital works covering the current ‘difficult to do’ sectors of peatland restoration, leading to longer term sustainable management supported through payment for ecosystem services (PES).  Other critical activities will lead to more co-ordinated and coherent approaches covering external funding, training, education, PES procurement, monitoring and research activities relevant to Welsh peatlands.     On behalf of the Welsh Peatland Action Group, the 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, the National Trust, Natural Resources Wales, and Swansea University.

Description

This is a pan-Wales project, with a focus on tackling some of the most ‘difficult-to-do’ areas of peatland restoration, including:

  • Sustainable management of lowland peatlands
  • Sustainable management of Molinia dominated upland peatlands
  • Peat soil erosion
  • Peatland drainage
  • Sustainable management of heather dominated blanket mire
  • Afforested peat
  • Peat heavily modified by agriculture

Project Aims

This project will deliver the following outputs:

  1. A prioritisation tool and implementation strategy for the appropriate targeting of restoration effort for achieving multiple environmental benefits based on SMNR, and to match delivery mechanisms to outcomes.
  2. A Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) strategy for Welsh peatlands which matches funding streams to projects through engagement with the Pumlumon PES Pioneers Collaborative Learning Group.
  3. A programme of restoration action focussing on the core ‘difficult-to-do’ areas of lowland peatlands, Molinia dominated upland peatlands, peat erosion, drainage, and heavily modified peatlands.
  4. 10 fully costed and validated Peatland Code projects available for investment.
  5. A range of funding bids for restoring peatlands for multiple environmental benefits.
  6. An engagement plan for securing private sector investment in peatland restoration in Wales and formation of a private sector sponsor panel to act as champions for PES investment across the Welsh private sector.
  7. Development of training and delivery of a standards charter for peatland restoration in Wales to ensure application of best practice in all aspects of planning, delivery, monitoring and outcomes.
  8. Development of engagement and interpretation tools to increase awareness of peatlands among local communities.
  9. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme which contributes to existing national monitoring effort whilst developing an expanded evidence programme for Welsh peatlands.
  10. A research platform for peatlands that enables better coordination of research efforts.

 

Partners

  • Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • IUCN UK Peatland Programme
  • Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
  • National Trust
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Swansea University
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Project Name: Welsh Peatlands Project (Sustainable Management Scheme)

Organisation / Lead partner: Snowdonia National Park Authority

Location: pan-Wales

Approximate area covered: 700 ha

Predominately: Upland

Peat Habitats: Lowland raised bog, Blanket bog, Lowland heath, Upland heath

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

Year Project Began: 2017

Project End Date: 2020

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