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This project aims to test two techniques for rewetting cracked peat bogs so that we can recommend how to do it in practice. Barriers to prevent water flowing away through cracks are formed by digging trenches deeper than the cracks and repacking them with peat with or without a plastic membrane lining one side of the trench.
Lowland raised bog trial: completed October 2017
Blanket bog trial: in progress
Core funding: Forestry Commission
Lowland bog trial: Scottish Natural Heritage co-funded the setting up of this project through a Peatland Action Grant. Forest Enterprise Scotland co-funded a technical evaluation of operational aspects.
Blanket bog trial: Forest Enterprise Scotland co-funded the setting up of the trial and Scottish Natural Heritage supplied water level loggers through the Peatland Action project.
Forestry Commission Policy
Forestry policy relating to peatland habitats was set down in 2000. It encouraged only limited restoration because evidence of benefits was lacking.
In 2014, supplementary guidance for Scotland stated a presumption to restore habitats in protected sites, those affecting connectivity of EU Habitats Directive Annex 1 habitats and those where deforestation would reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. Elsewhere, on sites insufficiently productive for tree growth to compensate for greenhouse gas losses from the soil, it recommends creating low-density, low-intensity, ‘peatland edge woodland’, which retains some woodland benefits but avoids a net carbon loss. ‘Deciding future management options for afforested deep peatland’ gives more information.
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