All of our environmental and habitat projects begin with a number of surveys to assess the site and incorporate any existing project proposals.
There are three main types of peatland in the UK; lowland fens, blanket bog and valley mire and raised bog (upland and lowland). Peatlands provide us with many ecosystem services including biodiversity, agricultural products (sheep, cattle and vegetables), forestry, water resources, flood water retention, recreation (predominantly walking, shooting and mountain biking), archaeological resource and landscape enhancement.
The nature of a peatland is controlled by hydrological processes. The dominant flow processes in rain-fed peatlands are over or close to the surface. Water moves fastest over a bare peat surface and is slowed by friction over cotton grass and even more so when the peat surface is covered by rough Sphagnum moss. The depth of water also influences the speed of flow because deeper water moves faster.
Environmental erosion to peat creates land scars exposing soil minerals, creating problems in water discolouration and adding silt to water channels. Currently mapping depths are neither accurate or detailed.
Atmospheric deposition, afforestation and drainage are a few of the many ways peatland can be modified and damaged. In peat bogs where carbon sequestration is the principal aim of restoration works, achieving a surface cover rich in Sphagna and cotton grasses is our ultimate and quantifiable objective.
Our restoration methods aim to re-establish a stable environment through land re-profiling and re-vegetation. The include:
- Edge re-profiling
- Habitat analysis
- Re-vegetation and vegetation management
- Water management (ditch / gully blocking)
All materials and techniques used are selected based on the site ecology, environmental and aesthetic effect.