See all stories
29 Oct 2021

Restoring peatland at Mar Lodge Estate

Restoring peatland at Mar Lodge Estate NNR

Transcript

Peatlands are important worldwide because of their capacity to store carbon.
Despite the fact that peatlands only cover about 3% of the land area in the world,
they store about a third of the world's soil carbon,
and in their entirety they store more carbon than any other habitat, so even forests and suchlike.

At Mar Lodge there's about almost 5,500 hectares of peatland, so it's quite an extensive area.

There's an area of degraded peatland here, and that's basically started to form these quite significant, in some places, erosion gullies
and the water is now running down them, almost like a sort of small river.

So what we're trying to do here is we've got machines in here and they're trying to make the gullies shallower
and also to put vegetation on the sides of those gullies so they become vegetated again.
And it's not bare peat.

And they're also doing something where they're putting dams in these gullies.
So by putting a dam in, you're holding the water back and raising the water table.
It's really important for us here to ensure that they're in a good condition
because they're important both for carbon storage, but also in regulating water flow through the river Dee catchment here in the north-east of Scotland.

They have a huge capacity to sort of act as a sponge and to hold water higher up in the river systems
and that's important for helping flood events and such like.
And then also for Mar Lodge here, they're important from a biodiversity point of view.
Peatland supports a number of specialist plant and animal species.
We are trying to conserve these here at Mar Lodge.

What inspires me here is being able to see the potential in this landscape and what we can achieve in terms of both conservation, but also in fighting the climate emergency.
And so it's quite exciting to be involved in work like this,
and I really look forward to seeing the results in a few years' time.

Peatlands are important worldwide because of their capacity to store carbon. Despite the fact that peatlands only cover about 3% of the land area in the world, they store about a third of the world’s soil carbon.

At Mar Lodge Estate, the UK’s largest National Nature Reserve, there are around 5,500 hectares of peat.

Conservation Manager Shaila Rao explains more about the work we’re doing to protect and restore that peatland, and why it matters to us all.

I love this place

By joining the National Trust for Scotland, you can protect the places that matter to you and experience the best that Scotland has to offer.

Join today