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LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs - New LIFE for Welsh Raised Bogs

LIFE16 NAT/UK/000646


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Contact details:

Contact person: Colette Price
Tel: 443000654107
Email: external.funding@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk



Project description:

Background

All active (Annex I Habitats Directive habitat code 7110*) and degraded (Annex I Habitats Directive habitat code 7120) raised bog habitats in the Natura 2000 network in Wales have unfavourable conservation status. Adverse hydrological regimes are the main factor, caused by past peat cutting, drainage and artificially steep surface gradients which promote water loss. Drainage has also caused extensive scrub development and the spread of problem species such as moor grass (Molinia), both of which also contribute to the unfavourable status. Lack of or poor grazing management is a further key issue.

The conservation status of active raised bogs habitats in the UK is 'bad-declining' (reporting under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive) and in the Atlantic biogeographical region it is 'unfavourable-bad'.


Objectives

The aim of the LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs project is to improve the conservation status of almost 700 ha of active raised bogs, about 270 ha of degraded raised bogs and associated habitats (depressions on peat substrates, and transition mires and quaking bogs), within the seven raised bog Natura 2000 network sites located wholly in Wales, by implementing favourable management.

The project will do this by tackling the key threats to active raised bogs and creating suitable conditions for their recovery from degraded raised bogs. The project sites support about 10% of the raised bogs habitat in the UK Natura 2000 network and the majority of habitat on natural (non-cutover) raised bogs in southern Britain. Restoration of this is a priority for safeguarding original raised bogs habitat in the EU. This emphasis is distinct from other current LIFE raised bog projects in the UK which focus on addressing secondary raised bogs habitat on cut-over surfaces of degraded bogs habitat. All actions will also benefit associated bog habitats which occur on two of the Natura 2000 sites nested within raised bogs.

The overall project aims will be achieved by the following objectives:

  • Restoration of the hydrological regimes to enable the recovery of active raised bogs on the seven project sites and the development of natural hydrological gradients and habitat zones. This will also improve the long-term resilience of the peat bodies to climate change and reduce carbon emissions, thus protecting the peat carbon store;
  • Creation of suitable conditions for habitat 7110* by tackling the key symptoms of poor condition - scrub encroachment, the spread of Molinia and restoration of dry or degraded peat surfaces;
  • Demonstration of the effectiveness of project actions in enabling the recovery of habitat 7110* and its supporting ecosystem, and their impact on ecosystem services and socio-economic factors; and
  • Unlocking of the potential of local communities and other stakeholders to become effective advocates and practitioners in the conservation and protection of Natura 2000 sites and the wider resource of habitat 7110* and 7120 in Wales. Dissemination of best practice guidance about the restoration techniques to managers across Europe.
  • Expected results:

  • Purchase of 30 ha at Cors Fochno Natura 2000 site and restoration of 6 ha of habitat 7110* and 14 ha of habitat 7120 that is recovering as habitat 7110*;
  • Favourable hydrology restored for around 650 ha of habitat 7110* and 180 ha of habitat 7120 within the seven Natura 2000 sites, through installation and repair of bunds, damming of drainage features and restoration of marginal ditches;
  • Restoration of 483.9 ha of poor condition habitat 7110* and habitat 7120 by treatment of Molinia, turf inversion or re-profiling, peat moss (Sphagnum) inoculation and scrub removal; and
  • 13 000 m of fencing to enable better grazing regimes for 100 ha of habitats 7110* and 7120.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Target Habitat types

  • 7110 - Active raised bogs
  • 7120 - Degraded raised bogs still capable of natural regeneration
  • 7140 - Transition mires and quaking bogs
  • 7150 - Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion

Natura 2000 sites

SCI UK0014784 Usk Bat Sites/ Safleoedd Ystlumod Wysg
SCI UK0014790 Cors Caron
SCI UK0014791 Cors Fochno
SCI UK0014792 Rhos Goch
SCI UK0030070 Cernydd Carmel
SCI UK0030074 Afonydd Cleddau/ Cleddau Rivers
SCI UK0030075 Afon Eden - Cors Goch Trawsfynydd


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Natural Resources Wales
Type of organisation Development agency
Description Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is the primary environmental agency for Wales sponsored by the Welsh Government. It came into being on 1 April 2013, taking over the responsibilities of the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales, the Environment Agency in Wales and some functions previously carried out within Welsh Government.

Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) is the local planning authority governing the national park area and consists of 18 representatives from local and national government. Its statutory purpose is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, and to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the park’s special qualities by the public.

Partners Snowdonia National Park Authority, United Kingdom

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Project reference LIFE16 NAT/UK/000646
Duration 01-SEP-2017 to 31-AUG -2021
Total budget 5,484,422.00 €
EU contribution 4,106,623.00 €
Project location Wales(United Kingdom)

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