Water level management on lowland peatlands

We carried out a review of both UK and international literature to assess the benefits and disadvantages arising from historic and current water level management of lowland peatlands in England and Wales.

Policy Briefing Note

This briefing note summarises the findings of a desk-based study undertaken for Defra as part of Project SP1218: Managing agricultural systems on lowland peat for decreased greenhouse gas emissions whilst maintaining agricultural productivity.

Direct and indirect impacts on hydrology and infrastructure (including transport routes, communication networks and buildings) and societal benefits and costs (agriculture, archaeology, culture, carbon storage and biodiversity) were reviewed to establish the current state of knowledge regarding the extent of these impacts, benefits and costs, their causes and, where appropriate, potential solutions. Key uncertainties and priorities for future assessment were also identified.


Infrastructural and societal impacts of water level management on lowland peatlands in England and Wales (March 2021)

PDF icon Policy Brief WP2.pdf

The briefing note summarises what Lowland Peatlands are, what are the issues and what options exist for mitigating the impacts of lowland peatland drainage.



See Reports and Outputs for more details on findings in the project.