Call goes out for people to develop peatland restoration skills

The 130ha restored site, Gow Moss, (near Fochabers in Aberdeenshire) where, within one year of restoration, plant and animal life that thrives on peatlands began to re-establish, including species such as the Hairs tail cotton grass, and birds such as lapwings and curlews which set up nesting territories in the Spring. (These are in decline in Scotland). Increases in other bird species - such as skylarks, and meadow pipits – have also been noticed at Gow Moss. Photograph: Forestry and Land Scotland.

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Forestry and Land Scotland has teamed up with NatureScot to next week (Monday March 13) stage a seminar on how to get involved in peatland restoration work.

The online seminar is part of a series promoting nature-based skills and the opportunities that they open up. Aimed at people interested in getting into the sector or looking for a career change, this talk will provide examples of vocational routes into peatland restoration.

It has been organised to help address the shortage of people with the necessary skills to help Scotland meet its peatland restoration target.

Poul Morten Korndal, a peatland worksite supervisor with Forestry and Land Scotland, said: “Peatland restoration is acknowledged as being a key contributor to Scotland’s Climate Emergency response.

“These amazing habitats are the largest worldwide carbon store but when damaged they can emit up to 20 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. The restoration process  reverses that and helps peatlands to once again start capturing carbon.

“There is a lot of work to do but there is a desperate shortage of people who are able to do it, so hopefully this seminar will encourage more people to get involved in acquiring the skills and helping with this vitally important work.”

Restoration is about returning peatlands to their normal hydrological condition by blocking drains. It also involves removing trees and “stump-flipping”, a technique that FLS uses to flip and bury tree stumps and smooth out the ploughed ridges and furrows.

FLS has been engaged in this work for five years – from Caithness to Galloway and Lochaber to Fife – and has restored around 4,000 hectares of afforested peat bog.

The seminar will introduce peatland restoration on the national forest estate and look at the equipment, machinery and skills involved in restoration works.

Anyone interested in taking part can register for the event online at