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Drain-blocking techniques on blanket peat: A framework for best practice
- Armstrong, A., Holden, J., Kay, P., Foulger, M., Gledhill, S., McDonald, A.T., Walker, A.
- Journal of environmental management 2009 v.90 no.11 pp. 3512-3519
- peatlands, drainage, best management practices, hydrology, land restoration, dams (hydrology), decision support systems, United Kingdom
- In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in artificial drain-blocking in world peatlands. The UK blanket peatlands have been severely drained over the past few decades but now drains are being blocked in an attempt to improve peatland environments. The drain-blocking has been a disparate process with limited knowledge transfer between organisations and within organisations operating in different geographic areas. Consequently, there has been no compilation of techniques used and their effectiveness. During this study thirty-two drain-blocked sites were surveyed and all the key stakeholders interviewed. Drain-blocking using peat turf was preferred by practitioners and was also the most cost-effective method. Peat turves were successful except on steep slopes, in areas of severe erosion, in very wet or very dry locations, or if the mineral substrate was exposed. A drain-blocking best practice guide is offered by this paper, providing information on the most suitable methods for blocking peatland drains under different circumstances. Additional considerations are provided for practitioners to ensure peatland drain-blocking is as successful as possible.