The first phase of the peatland restoration has been completed in the north-east of Scotland and announced today (Tuesday, March 19) by Par Equity, Aviva Investors, and Scottish Woodlands Ltd.

The Glen Dye Moor Project in Aberdeenshire plans to deliver a significant woodland creation and peatland restoration scheme that aims to capture over 1.4 million tonnes of carbon.

The first phase of restoration work comprising 172ha degraded peat has been completed and further phases will be undertaken to achieve the scheme’s stated aim of restoring 1800ha of degraded peat. 

Portfolio manager at Aviva Investors, Zoe Austin said they are working with leading experts to ensure that all of the work carried out is designed and managed in a way that “maximises” the benefits to the land.

The phase one site has also been used partners in the ACTION Programme to host a training session for 14 contractors and machine operators interested in learning more about peatland restoration

Peatland Restoration contractors being trained on Glen Dye Moor

The project is registered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme’s Code.

Bare peat restored to date comprises 1.1ha and 23,500m hags or gullies have been reprofiled, while 2,800 dams and bunds have also been installed.

Demonstrations of different restoration techniques included hag and gully reprofiling and the installation of peat bunds.

Scottish Woodlands is expected to make a “substantial contribution” to both Scottish and UK forestry planting targets.

Applications are being made to undertake extensive peatland restoration work across approximately 1800 hectares and new tree planting over 3000ha.

Regional director, Scottish Woodlands, Neil Crookston said:

“We have a long way to go, but it is very heartening to see progress on peatland restoration happening at this early stage.

“We look forward to making real strides in getting tree planting proposals approved as soon as possible, another key pillar in our strategy.”

Peatland ACTION NatureScot, Jack Pocock said that the erosion at Glen Dye Moor is “complex” and why halting further erosion will reduce carbon loss and increase biodiversity.

Par and Aviva Investors established an investment fund to acquire the 6,300ha site at Glen Dye Moor, with the project forming part of Aviva Investors’ Climate Transition Real Assets strategy.

Investment director at Par Equity, Tom Croy said: “The project offers a tremendous opportunity to deliver an outstanding project as part of the journey to net zero.”

He added that forestry forms an “important” part of the project which will make a “valuable” contribution in terms of carbon capture and commercial timber.