The focus of the Exmoor Mires Partnership is to 're-wet' the bog following generations of peat-cutting and the creation of drainage ditches which has caused the mires to dry out.
The drying action causes oxidation of exposed peat bogs which releases large quantities of carbon into the atmosphere and has reduced the water-holding capacity of the moors. Drained bogs release Dissolved Organic Carbon (peaty coloured water) into the headwaters, which has to be removed at Drinking water treatment plants.
A 'healthy' bog accumulates carbon and absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere so we have been restoring the uplands of Exmoor through blocking the drainage ditches using sustainable methods, local materials and local contractors to retain water and carbon.
Research undertaken, by the University of Exeter through CREWW, supports the restoration efforts in these landscapes through quantifying the effect of upland restoration on habitat status, water quality and natural flood management.
Why is re-wetting the moors important?
During periods of heavy rainfall, re-wetted peat bogs slow down the run-off of water from land before steadily releasing it. This increased water storage has the effect of reducing the fluctuation of river flows, making flooding less likely, reducing soil erosion and the amount of silt entering rivers.
Exmoor Mires Partnership 7-9 Fore Street, Dulverton, Somerset TA22 9EX
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