Members of the Ugie Peatland Partnership (UPP) were delighted to see the recent completion of peat bog restoration works on Moss of Kinmundy.
The restoration work, funded by Scottish Natural Heritage’s Peatland ACTION fund, should provide multiple benefits, including: increased carbon storage; improved water quality; and better wetland habitats for wildlife.
RSPB Scotland oversaw the project management, on behalf of the landowner, from an initial feasibility study through to completion of the project.
Hywel Maggs, from RSPB Scotland said: “It’s great to see Moss of Kinmundy on the road to recovery through restoration. I’m sure in time this will provide a significant carbon store, whilst creating homes for wildlife.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of a landscape-scale approach to tackling the issues caused by degraded peatlands in the River Ugie catchment.”
Moss of Kinmundy covers approximately 50 ha, and is situated in the River Ugie catchment, just over 5.5 km south-west of Peterhead.
The bog was targeted for restoration due to the combined impacts of drainage, forestry and historic peat extraction, which all contribute to the drying of the carbon-rich peat soil.
The drying of the soil leads to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and erosion of the peat soil into watercourses.
The organic material and discoloured water reaching the Drinking Water Protected Areas downstream from drained bogs is a major concern for Scottish Water.
The restoration works focused on increasing the amount of water held on the bog. The impacts of the ditch-blocking are already clear to see, with water being spread away from ditches.
Peatland ACTION Project Officer, Russell Hooper, said: “Since 2012, Peatland Action has supported the restoration of 15,000 ha across Scotland, and it’s great to see some of that investment in the North-east, where we have numerous lowland bogs.”