PEATLAND MANAGEMENT FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND WATER RESOURCES

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University are working with the National Trust (2012-2017) monitoring gully erosion, water tables and water quality in blanket bog, aiming to establish whether restoration techniques demonstrated elsewhere can also be successful on more degraded and steeper peat slopes. This forms part of a wider project worth £2.2million, funded by the Environment Agency under Defra’s Catchment Restoration Fund.

Research by the group has informed the National Trust’s management of its estates, including its 50-year plan for the High Peak Moors (2013), as well as catchment management policy by Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent Water, the United Utilities sustainable catchment management (SCaMP) project and Defra’s “Making Space for Water” project. The group’s research on lowland bogs has also contributed to the body of knowledge leading to the cessation of peat extraction on many sites. Impacts include the designation of one study area as a European Special Area for Conservation (SAC) (Bolton Fell Moss), with management guidelines influenced by the research. In 2010 Natural England negotiated a £9million plan for cessation of peat cutting on this internationally important site and research is continuing.

Dr Jill Labadz and Dr Ben Clutterbuck contributed to and were cited in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature 2010 assessments on Peatland Restoration and Burning; the final report of the IUCN Commission of Enquiry was presented both at the Scottish Parliament and at Westminster.

Clutterbuck’s work has also informed the Natural England Review of Evidence on Burning in the Uplands which intends to provide a sound evidence base for future policy and practice in upland management and was disseminated via a presentation to the Upland Hydrology Group. This brings together stakeholders including water companies, land-owners, conservation agencies and research scientists, aiming to reach a consensus about how land and water should be managed in the uplands.

 

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