Peatlands cover about 3% of the total land surface in the world. The wetland habitat and peat soil make up the ecosystem in the peatlands. Peatlands are stores of carbon and are hugely important in water management as well. The erosion of hillside streams, loss of Sphagnum moss, loss of peat from hillside flows to watercourses are major concerns. Peatland restoration is, therefore, gaining importance.
Besides peat loss from soil erosion, there is considerable damage to peatlands from construction and farming activities. Given that peat is conducive to plant growth, a lot of peat is taken away from peatlands to promote vegetation in other landscapes.
Peatland restoration is important from the point of view of archaeology as well. Peat preserves things in the ecosystem well.
Landowners, governments and other agencies are realising how important it is to preserve peatlands for future generations.
What is Peatland Restoration?
When peat is lost to the atmosphere, the related vegetation and wildlife are also lost. Restoring peatland is all about reversing the damage and preserving the ecosystem.
Bare peat areas are covered with vegetation, drain areas are blocked to help raise the water table and Sphagnum mosses are re-introduced in planned restoration.
Blocks and matting are used for natural peatland restoration. They are cost-effective, practical and sustainable solutions to bring back peatlands from the verge of extinction.
Use of RePeat Blocks for Peatland Restoration
For peatland restoration, blocks are filled with sand or compost mix that can be vegetated using techniques such as hydro-seeding, plug planting and natural vegetation process. These blocks known as RePeat blocks help in bringing up water levels and facilitating Sphagnum moss growth.
The RePeat blocks are great for carrying out erosion repairs and silt control. Moreover, the blocks work effectively as retaining walls, culvert head walls and can last a lifetime, turning the landscape carbon negative.
Peatland Restoration Matting
Peatland restoration matting is used to cover exposed peat areas. The matting is organic and biodegradable. This means it does not harm the environment while it is doing its job. The matting with seed mixes, organic fertiliser and dry micro-organisms is additionally protected with coir fibre and reinforcement meshes that protect the matting from wild animals. It is secured with the help of wooden stakes.
Once the entire peatland area is covered with the matting, nature is allowed to take over and bring the peatland back to life in due course.