Restoring peat bogs in the Cairngorms

Istock photo
Area characterisation: 

Most of the area of interest is high altitude blanket bod - at above 700m above sea level. At lower altitudes - that is 250m above sea level - there are forest swamp habitats and riparian swamps. Much of this has been damaged by a combination of overgrazing, drainage and planting of non-native species.

Objective: 

To restore approximately 10,000 acres of bog within the area of concern, which covers approximately 60,000 hectares of land within Scotland's Cairngorms National Park.

Actions: 

The project is creating dams in the damaged bogs to retain water within the swamp. Moreover,  the project involves the restoration of 800 hectares of marshy forest.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

Creating dams in bogs will help vegetation regrow and prevent water from plunging directly from the hill into fast gorges, that would cause a incresed flood risk downsream and peat erosion. Peat is a great store of carbon, so its restoration could help in decreassing carbon emissions. So far the project has completed 526 ha of blanket bog restoration.

NBS benefits 
  • Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience
  • Flood peak reduction
  • Increase infiltration / Water storage
  • Reduce flood risk
  • Restoring ecosystems and their functions
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Increased cultural richness and biodiversity

Further information

The project is part of the Cairngorms Connect Programme, a partnership of neighbouring landowners committed to a 200-years vision for restored habitats and ecological processes at a landscape scale, within the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland.

Sustainable Development Goals 
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life On Land
  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals