Advisory service for land managers

The Flows to the Future Project offers free advisory support to farmers, crofters and estate managers who wish to sustainable manage or restore their peatlands.

 

Agri-Environment and Climate Scheme

The main mechanism for incentivising sustainable peatland management in Scotland is through the Agri-environment and Climate Scheme (AECS), a branch of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), which offers funding to carry out activities including extensive grazing, deer management, stocking reductions and peatland restoration. Land managers who manage blanket bog and heath for deer stalking or rough grazing in the Flow Country could be eligible for funding from AECS via the Moorland Management option. The aim of this management option is to benefit a range of moorland habitats, including upland heath and peatland habitats, by maintaining appropriate levels of wild and domestic stock. It is also intended to protect sensitive peatland areas at risk of soil erosion from herbivore trampling and vehicle tracking. Successful applicants for this option can receive an annual payment of between £1.24 - £4.84/ha for the ground they intend to manage over a five year period. For those wishing to block any open drains on blanket bog there is also a bolt on Ditch Blocking option which offers a payment of £13 per peat dam.  To help land managers to apply to the Moorland Management scheme the Advisory Officer can provide the following free services

  • Carry out a Farm Environment Assessment and Diffuse Pollution Risk Assessment of land holdings (a mandatory requirement of the current SRDP scheme)
  • Carry out vegetation habitat condition surveys to inform grazing and deer management plans
  • Produce high quality habitat and management maps using a geographic information management system (GIS) which are compliant with AECS standards
  • Advise on monitoring methods for the scheme
  • Liaise with Scottish Natural Heritage on the proposed grazing plans and management on designated sites
  • Write up the Moorland Management and Grazing Plan and associated plans for bolt-on options
  • If wishing to carry out ditch blocking on your bog the Advisory Officer can carry out a drain survey to prioritise drains for blocking, estimate dam numbers required and write up the associated ditch blocking plan

Peatland Action

Peatland Action is a Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) administered fund for carrying out peatland restoration across Scotland. The fund is particularly geared towards projects which require restoration methods which are not funded through AECS. This includes measures such as gully blocking, hag reprofiling and bare peat restoration. The Advisory Officer can provide the following free services in relation to the Peatland Action Fund

  • Carry out a peatland condition assessment to assess peatland damage
  • Select and advise on appropriate restoration measures for damaged peatland
  • Draw up Peatland Action funding applications and associated maps for submission to SNH
  • Carry out tendering to select experienced contractors to carry out the restoration work
  • Survey peat depth across the restoration site
  • Act as a Ecological Clerk of Works to manage contractors onsite to ensure the work is carried out to the required standard
  • Write a report for SNH based on the outcome of the restoration project

 

Contact Details

If you wish to discuss a potential AECS application or peatland restoration in the Flow Country with the Advisory Officer you can reach him via email at gearoid.murphy@rspb.org.uk or via his office number (01641 761 322) or mobile (077 665 00364).