• Terrain map overlaid with colourful dots showing depth of peat

    Maps provide detail on how water is moving across a given restoration site and where it is driving erosion; this enables us to target our interventions where they will have the most impact. Credit: Yorkshire Peat Partnership

  • Photo showing GPS mapper, ranging poles and paper recording sheets

    Sites are surveyed using a range of methods, but much is done on foot with hand-held GPS mapping tools. Credit: Caitlin Greenwood

How is Yorkshire Peat Partnership repairing and restoring these habitats?

The tools of our trade

Planning our approach to restoring damaged blanket bogs starts with site surveys. We conduct both desk-based and field surveys. Aerial photos used in our surveys are often provided by our in-house UAV pilots. Using handheld GPS mappers, we categorise all the features of a site, including vegetation, damage and peat depths. Yorkshire Peat Partnership’s expanding team has already surveyed nearly 59,800 hectares using these methods.

  • Aerial photo showing deep fissures in the bog

    Aerial photography shows the damage caused by gripping and gullying. Credit: Alistair Lockett

  • A tuft of grass overhangs bare peat

    Hags expose bare peat. Credit: Jenny Sharman

  • Photo of a deep channel cut into the bog

    Grips drain water from the uplands. Credit: Tessa Levens

How have they been used and damaged?

The effect of draining peatlands for agriculture

In the 50s and 60s, the Government paid land managers to drain blanket bog to improve the land for sheep grazing

Narrow drainage channels called ‘grips’ were dug to drain water from the fells.

Drying out the peatlands killed off the plants that live on the surface of the peat, exposing it to erosion by wind and rain.

This led to formation of deep channels (known as gullies), and steep faces of bare peat (hags), driving the formation of areas of bare peat leading into a vicious cycle of further erosion.

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