Award-winning electric bog innovation for water level management
We were tasked by a consortium of Internal Drainage Boards to produce and implement a £2.9 million Water Level Management Plan (WLMP), covering Thorne, Goole and Crowle Moors. This CIEEM Award-winning WLMP enabled us to identify restoration measures to bring the site back to a favourable condition which included our innovative 'electric bog'.
- Client Tween Bridge Internal Drainage Board
- Location Thorne, Crowle and Goole Moors
- Awards 1. Best Practice Award for Large-Scale Practical Nature Conservation 2. Tony Bradshaw Award for Outstanding Best Practice
Home to a number of rare species, the mire had been damaged by several hundred years of peat extraction. The complex nature of the site and its location posed further challenges when designing and implementing the restoration plan. With the area recognised as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), covering three counties, and owned by 22 separate landowners, any plans could not be implemented without significant stakeholder engagement.
The creation of the electric bog is a wetland management system that uses innovative technology, telemetry, water level control structures, contour bunding and vegetation management to remotely manage water levels. It utilizes weirs and piezometers to measure and regulate water levels in compartments and chains across the site. Data is then sent via radio to a central system for monitoring and control, with a pumping station also connected to the system to provide additional support when necessary.
The structures have been programmed to respond in predetermined ways when rainfall levels or water levels in the compartments reach certain thresholds. This helps ensure that the flow of water can be managed efficiently. Flowpaths across and through the bog are also likely to change, highlighting the importance of recording and analysing live data and adopting a flexible strategy. Through our use of telemetry and the newly created structures to control water levels on the bog in real-time, we were also able to facilitate the growth of Sphagnum moss and other peat-forming species.
As all of the monitoring equipment on site, as well as the structures themselves, are powered using photovoltaic cells linked to a battery (and solenoid in the case of the structures), it also reduces the need for costly and potentially dangerous site visits.
Email Kieran Sheehan or Alex Jones for more information about the Thorne Moor Water Level Management Plan project. Find out more about Ecology work here.
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