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Peatland restoration project proposal lodged by NatureScot for site at Heights of Inchvannie near Strathpeffer on Ben Wyvis National Nature Reserve (NNR)

By Ian Duncan

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The nature reserve sign at Ben Wyvis.
The nature reserve sign at Ben Wyvis.

NATURESCOT has applied to Highland Council to restore peatland on an iconic peak near Strathpeffer.

The site is 5km north of Strathcarrick House on the Heights of Inchvannie.

According to supporting information, which was submitted as part of the planning application, the project would involve the restoration of approximately 106 hectares of upland blanket bog in Ben Wyvis National Nature Reserve (NNR).

The report adds: "The site consists of heavily eroded and actively eroding peat gullies, with bare peat bases. Average peat depth on the site is 2m, ranging between 1.1 and 3m.

"We are applying for Peatland Action funding, and aim to complete the work between August and November 2022. After November snow is likely to restrict site access.

"Dates above include the following year to allow for any delays due to adverse weather, or contractor availability. In such instances work would re-commence in August 2023 to avoid the breeding bird season.

"The overall outcome of this work is to reduce loss of peat and its stored carbon from the site and to restore the peatland to a healthy bog ecosystem able to sequester carbon from the atmosphere."

The site consists of approximately 34,675m of actively eroding gullies and 1320m of artificial drains. The aim is for the gullies to be restored by reprofiling the gully edges and blocking gully bases.

The report adds: "The drains are to be blocked and reprofiled, which we aim to have restored with wave damming and zipper reprofiling.

"There are also just under 1ha of small peat pans, which we aim to restore using cell bunding. This site is part of a much larger area of degradation across the shoulder of Meall na Speireig (Hill of the Sparrowhawk)."

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