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As we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been fortunate enough to begin undertaking site visits. For example, on the 6th of May, 2021 I visited Bolton Fell Moss, a 400 ha restored peatland extraction site. The site contains 280ha M18 Active Bog, 123 ha M17 Degraded Bog, and 53.65 ha Lagg & Rand habitats. As part of the Cumbrian Bogs LIFE+ project (2011-2019), the site has been divided into 11 distinct areas and treated with a variety of restoration techniques.
From visiting the site, I have rapidly learnt peatland restoration is not straight forward. Restoration has to sometimes take a ‘best outcome’ approach. Furthermore, ecology is tremendously impactful on restoration work; nesting birds need to be monitored and located to consider the pathing of machinery.
I have now shifted the focus of my PhD towards what I want to identify from my core samples and which sites would be most appropriate to take samples from. The outputs from my cores should be easy to monitor so they can provide early feedback on the performance of restoration work and inform policy.