Restoring Britain’s peatlands

Sharing details about the Forestry Commission’s work in developing techniques for restoring peatlands

News from Forest Research: April 2008

Extraction route through peatlandForest Research’s Russell Anderson presented a poster on his work at a recent conference on ‘Peatland restoration and management in the UK’ and was enthusiastic about the opportunity to share details about the Forestry Commission’s work in developing techniques for restoring peatlands.

Peatlands have been described as ‘Britain’s rainforests’, because they are very valuable both for their role in carbon storage and as essential habitats to some important UK species. However, drainage, pollution, over-grazing and fire can damage them.

Russell’s poster demonstrated the large number of forest-back-to-bog restoration projects in Britain and the Forestry Commission (FC) research projects supporting this activity. He found that many participants were surprised to see the extent of the commitment by the FC and other forest owners, especially the RSPB, to this effort.

Organised by the Moors for the Future partnership, the conference brought together peatland restoration practitioners to inform them of a new compendium of UK peatland restoration and management projects being compiled by the partnership on behalf of Defra. A number of Forestry Commission projects will be included in the compendium and Jonathan Spencer from Forestry Commission England described two examples of restoration projects on Kielder’s Border Mires and the New Forest Valley Mires.

A web-based version of the compendium is being developed and additional projects can be added by submitting a short questionnaire to Moors for the Future.

Russell explains:

“It is so important that all the FC’s peatland restoration projects are included in the compendium and we join the growing network of practitioners able to exchange practical information to restore these valuable habitats”.

For more details of Forest Research’s work on peatland restoration, contact Russell Anderson.


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This and other news stories can be found in the April 2008 issue of FR Eye, our online newsletter.