Scoping a national peatland monitoring framework
Scotland is a peat-rich nation. Healthy peatlands deliver a wide range of ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, carbon storage and a specialised biodiversity. Much of Scotland’s peat resource is damaged: eroding, drained or converted to other land uses. The Scottish Government has made a significant commitment to restore peatland areas that have been damaged. This paper explores how we can monitor success. Peatlands restored to a functioning ecosystem can better withstand a changing climate and also provide vital flood risk protection. It takes time for the benefits of restoration to take effect. Long-term monitoring is important to track this recovery and prompt intervention when necessary. Despite significant investment in peatland restoration we still have a lot to learn, particularly on the best techniques to use, and in understanding how long the process takes.