- 9th July 2018
- Posted by: Sophie Smith
- Category: Blog
International Bog Day takes place on Sunday 22 July and we think this is a chance to celebrate the wonderful and varied world of peatlands and the range of peatland projects that we work on.
One of Alex Jones, Chartered Senior Analyst’s, first jobs with us nine years ago was helping to produce Natural England guidance on building windfarms on peatlands. Since then working on peat has taken him from the north coast of Scotland to the wetland bounding the Solent.
Recently our peatland expertise has been combined with our Natural Flood Management (NFM) skills on a study for the Environment Agency in the upper catchment of the River Wyre, in the Forest of Bowland.
Many upland NFM projects have focused on the restoration of remaining blanket bog. However, through extensive site survey work we developed a conceptual landscape model, showing that the drainage and erosion of blanket bogs could have a much wider impact.
Run-off from the edge of intact peat bogs tends to be well spread out; however, the formation of gullies and the cutting of drains through it focuses the water flow. Gullies can therefore continue well beyond the edge of the peat, connecting the uplands to the main river network. These connecting gullies have the potential to rapidly move water from the upland plateaux to the river network and towards
downstream flood risk receptors.
Identifying this system of connecting gullies significantly expanded where we looked for NFM opportunities, to not just blanket bogs but to areas where hydrology had been significantly changed as a consequence of the peat erosion kilometres away.
To aid in this we flew drones, developed JFlow surface water flood models and spoke to a range of catchment stakeholders. The NFM interventions identified across the whole upland hillside have the potential to bring multiple benefits from habitat creation to reducing sediment loading in the river.