10 Jul 2023

RPS Group are an environmental consultancy who are working with LIFE IP Peatlands and People to carry out restoration work on NPWS project sites, including developing tailored Drainage Management Plans (DMPs) to assist with restoration.

Peatland restoration is the process of recovering the functions of drained or degraded peatlands through measures aimed at reintroducing their natural, waterlogged conditions. Common restoration techniques include drain blocking, cell bunding and tree removal with the overall aim of raising the water table and creating the correct conditions for natural plant species found on the bog such as sphagnum mosses to re-establish.

Creating a DMP is an important first step when carrying out restoration. DMPs provide recommendations for managing the drainage connected to a peatland site, with the aim to support the rehabilitation of the bog while also ensuring restoration measures do not impact adjacent land or infrastructure.

DMPs support restoration on raised bogs by determining which elements of the drainage network can be maintained without impacting on the conservation objectives of the site.

RPS work closely with local landowners and stakeholders to develop DMPs, as well as using hydrological data and detailed field surveys. The aim of this work is to better understand the drainage network and current flooding issues in areas around the bog prior to restoration works starting. A crucial goal of the DMPs is to ensure that stakeholders around the bog are aware of the benefits of peatland restoration.