Which of the many peatland benefits is your project focused on enhancing or conserving?
Our sites are within a mountainous Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) that has a high level of recreational use as well as providing catchment area for five reservoirs. There is also a tradition of upland sheep farming in the area. The project, as well as enhancing wildlife habitat and biodiversity, sought to improve the hydrology on the sites to mitigate wildfire risk and create a carbon sink rather than a carbon source. The proximity to water catchment also meant reducing particulate organic carbon was key.
Which of the UK Peatland Strategy goals (conservation, restoration, adaptive management, sustainable management, coordination, communication) is your project helping to deliver?
- Restoring damaged peatland to functioning ecosystems. This has been done by practical site works, installing coir rolls, geojute netting, building stone dams and reprofiling peat hags.
- Sustainably manage healthy peatland with compatible land use. By involving local landowners and stakeholders and advising on appropriate stocking density.
- Communicate value of peatlands to a wider audience. We participated in various events with partner organisations to promote the value and importance of peatlands and peatland restoration.
What would you like to highlight as the projects top three achievements to date?
- Significant increase in both desirable species and biodiversity generally.
- Retention of particulate organic carbon reducing water treatment requirement.
- Aiding wildfire risk mitigation.
Are there any resources you have found useful or produced that you think might help other peatland projects?
Moors for the Future Partnership provided invaluable advice prior to work commencing both from their website and a site visit. We produced a heathland swatch to help identify flora and fauna and distributed to local groups to help promote the project.