The project, funded under the remit of Defra's R&D programme, aims to quantify a range of mitigation options for agriculturally managed lowland peatlands in England and Wales.
The project will comprise:
- A desk based assessment of the practical and economic potential of high water table ‘paludiculture’ management
- A review of the societal impacts of drainage-based lowland peat management, for example in relation to infrastructure
- A field experimental study to quantify the magnitude of emissions reductions that may be achievable by raising water levels within conventional arable systems, together with any potential trade-offs in relation to crop yields, disease risk and soil trafficability
- An evaluation of the economic, environmental, societal and practical costs, benefits, opportunities and barriers associated with altered hydrological management of agricultural peatlands
The ultimate aims of the project will be to provide Defra, other policymakers and the farming community with best-practice advice on a range of approaches to mitigate GHG emissions from agriculturally used peatlands.
The work will:
- Support Defra’s 25 year plan to reduce GHG emissions from the agricultural sector,
- Help to reduce the societal costs of current deep-drained arable systems on peat, and
- Contribute to extending the economic lifetime of farmed organic soils by reducing rates of long-term subsidence and soil loss.