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Global Distribution of PeatlandsApproximately 4 million km2175 countries from tropics to poles3% of the world’s land area
UK Distribution of Peatlands                Peatlands occur in a number of                different forms in the UK: fens,...
Carbon storage & sinkPeatlands cover just 3% of the world’s land surface but store more than30% of the total global soil c...
BiodiversityLargest area of semi-natural habitat in the UK containing 16 NVC plantcommunitiesOne of the most ancient and u...
HistoryPreserved pollen and partially decomposed plant remains enables   reconstruction of vegetation and land management ...
EconomyAs major tourist attractions peatland bring the tourist pound into remoteareas supporting accommodation providers a...
Current state of peatlandsLess than 20% of blanket bog in UK is in a natural or near-naturalconditionMajority of UK peatla...
Key damaging driversLarge areas drained with ditches (grips) through agricultural subsidies.No longer funded but still flo...
Partnership funded by:Yorkshire Wildlife TrustYorkshire Dales NPANorth York Moors NPAEnvironment AgencyNatural EnglandYork...
Objectives•Restore 35,000 (50%) of peatland by restoring 3401km (45%) ofgrip/gully and re-vegetating 169ha (50%) of bare p...
Part A – Aerial Photographs
Part B – Rapid Walkover
Category 1b -        Category 3 -                     Eroding and deeplyBlocked grip                     scoured;         ...
Eroding Hags     Peat PansMicro Erosion   Oxidised Peat
Grip blocking
Gully blockingMajority of larger grips and some gullies can be blocked using timbersediment traps
Gully/hag reprofilingAll gullies but especially larger ones that can’t be blocked are re-profiled andthen re-vegetated to ...
Re-vegetating bare peatBare peat needs treating in several ways to get a vegetation cover toestablishpH levels often too l...
Cut heather brash       Transport brash to site                    Spread brash to stabilise surface                      ...
Results so farAchievement by December 2011                                    QuantityArea of land surveyed               ...
Carbon & climate change
Biodiversity & HistoryRestore the peat we regain the biodiversity and prevent the loss of thehistoric record
Water qualityBlocking reduces fine particulate organic matter, suspended solids andbed sediment leading to change back to ...
Restoration works!
Yorkshire Peat Partnership
Yorkshire Peat Partnership
Yorkshire Peat Partnership
Yorkshire Peat Partnership
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Yorkshire Peat Partnership

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Yorkshire Peat Partnership

  1. 1. Global Distribution of PeatlandsApproximately 4 million km2175 countries from tropics to poles3% of the world’s land area
  2. 2. UK Distribution of Peatlands Peatlands occur in a number of different forms in the UK: fens, wet woodland and bogs 92% of the peatland in the UK occurs as blanket and raised bogs The UK has about 13% of the world’s blanket bog
  3. 3. Carbon storage & sinkPeatlands cover just 3% of the world’s land surface but store more than30% of the total global soil carbonA loss of just 1.6% of the global peat store equates to the total annualglobal anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissionsIn the UK peatlands store 3 200 million tonnes of carbon, 20 times thanthat of UK forestsSemi-natural, intact bogs may remove 30-70 tonnes of carbon per km2 peryearA loss of just 5% of the UK peat store equates to the total annual UKanthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions
  4. 4. BiodiversityLargest area of semi-natural habitat in the UK containing 16 NVC plantcommunitiesOne of the most ancient and unique habitats in Europe dating backthousands of years (designated as SAC)Supports a unique, rare and threatened range of specialised speciesadapted to waterlogged, nutrient-poor conditions such as sundews andSphagnumInternationally important bird assemblages such as golden plover, dunlin,merlin & hen harrier (designated as SPA)
  5. 5. HistoryPreserved pollen and partially decomposed plant remains enables reconstruction of vegetation and land management history.Record of past atmospheric pollution levelsRecord of past events – eg volcanic eruptionsArchaeological artefacts
  6. 6. EconomyAs major tourist attractions peatland bring the tourist pound into remoteareas supporting accommodation providers and local communitesManagement of peatlands for grouse (or deer stalking in Scotland)provides employment opportunities for keepers and other sportingmanagersPeatlands are an integral part of the extensive sheep farming systems ofthe UK uplandsIn some areas of the UK peat is still exploited as a fuelsource
  7. 7. Current state of peatlandsLess than 20% of blanket bog in UK is in a natural or near-naturalconditionMajority of UK peatlands are no longer peat forming16% severely eroded, 10% afforested, 11% affected by past peat-cutting,40% modified or destroyed by conversion to agricultureNow emitting 3.7million tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year > averageannual emissions of Leeds, Edinburgh and Cardiff.Only 58% of internationally designated blanket bog is in favourablecondition. Of the rest only 15% is recoveringOver last 30 years amount of dissolved organic carbon (brown colour) inwater draining peatlands has doubled which has to be taken out by watercompanies
  8. 8. Key damaging driversLarge areas drained with ditches (grips) through agricultural subsidies.No longer funded but still flowing and eroding10% of UK peatlands afforested. Generally requires drainage, cultivationand fertilisation which causes peat to crack, shrink and oxidiseHeavy grazing changes the vegetation converting from specialists tograss dominated peatlands which begin to erode and stop peat forming.Fire. Wildfire and poorly-managed burns on grouse moors damagesSphagnum and leads to conversion to heather and grasses. Dessicatedpeatlands are drier and more prone to fire – a vicious circle
  9. 9. Partnership funded by:Yorkshire Wildlife TrustYorkshire Dales NPANorth York Moors NPAEnvironment AgencyNatural EnglandYorkshire WaterNational TrustOther Partners:Yorkshire Dales rivers TrustNidderdale AONBPennine ProspectsMoorland AssociationNational Gamekeepers AssociationNational Farmers Union
  10. 10. Objectives•Restore 35,000 (50%) of peatland by restoring 3401km (45%) ofgrip/gully and re-vegetating 169ha (50%) of bare peat by March 2017• Establish long-term sites for research into the benefits of peatlandrestoration to ecosystem services by March 2013•To use and promote best practice in all applied restoration techniques•To raise awareness and promote the multitude of benefits that peatlandrestoration can provide
  11. 11. Part A – Aerial Photographs
  12. 12. Part B – Rapid Walkover
  13. 13. Category 1b - Category 3 - Eroding and deeplyBlocked grip scoured; >1000mm-1500mm wide; >1000mm-1200mm deepCategory 1f -Flowing grip up to Category 4+600mm wide;650mm deep
  14. 14. Eroding Hags Peat PansMicro Erosion Oxidised Peat
  15. 15. Grip blocking
  16. 16. Gully blockingMajority of larger grips and some gullies can be blocked using timbersediment traps
  17. 17. Gully/hag reprofilingAll gullies but especially larger ones that can’t be blocked are re-profiled andthen re-vegetated to remove source of continued erosion
  18. 18. Re-vegetating bare peatBare peat needs treating in several ways to get a vegetation cover toestablishpH levels often too low for vegetation (even Sphagnum)Wind, water and frost heave in exposed areas mean surface is continuallymobile so vegetation cannot get a holdVulnerable to dessiccation in dry periods
  19. 19. Cut heather brash Transport brash to site Spread brash to stabilise surface Create stable root mat Spread lime & fertiliser to support growth for 3 yrs 3 yrs on all being well Establish Sphagnum & other peat formers
  20. 20. Results so farAchievement by December 2011 QuantityArea of land surveyed 16,542ha (48%)Area under restoration 3283ha (10%)Length of grips blocked 334km (13%)Length of eroding gullies re-vegetated 40km (5%)Area of bare peat re-vegetated 17ha (10%)Number of peat dams installed in grips 33,000Number of timber sediment traps installed in larger grips and 300gulliesNumber of peat depth records 20,000Number of volunteers involved 40
  21. 21. Carbon & climate change
  22. 22. Biodiversity & HistoryRestore the peat we regain the biodiversity and prevent the loss of thehistoric record
  23. 23. Water qualityBlocking reduces fine particulate organic matter, suspended solids andbed sediment leading to change back to Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera,Trichoptera from Diptera.
  24. 24. Restoration works!

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