Field sites

The following section provides an overview about the field sites.

The project takes part at three experimental peatland sites in the English uplands, which are typical of grouse managed blanket bog, showing mostly over 50% cover of ling heather 
(i.e. Calluna vulgaris) over deep peat but with some other blanket mire species, including Sphagnum spp., present at low frequency/cover. The sites are predominantly under current rotational burning and the peatlands are mainly 'intact' (i.e. not eroded). At each site two similar sub-catchments are paired, serving as control (continuation of the current burn regime) versus treatment areas (replacing burning with alternative mowing). The following initial Phase 1 (Defra) criteria were met:

1)  > 30 % tall heather (and other bog species should be present);
2)  fairly flat intact peat areas (assures access with mowing equipment) with additional slope areas;
3)  two ~ 400 x 300 m (~12 ha) sub-catchment areas (i.e. with a central water stream);
4)  > 100 cm peat depth across the main flat peat areas, lower at slopes;
5)  relatively easy access but remote to ensure site safety.
Whitendale (Forest of Bowland)
Whitendale treatment catchment
Nidderdale (Yorkshire Dales)
Nidderdale treatment catchment

Mossdale (Yorkshire Dales)
Mossdale control catchment and AWS