Type of service
Type of assignment
Pages / words
11 / 3025
Number of sources
UK lowland peatlands have been extensively drained for agriculture beginning in the 18th Century. Peat is a soil that is high in carbon that has accumulated over hundreds to thousands of years under flooded, low oxygen conditions. Intact peatlands can have peat that is several metres deep. However, drainage results in conditions that drive rapid decomposition, adding to UK greenhouse gas emissions, and placing many peatland areas several metres below sea level. The England Peat Action Plan highlights the importance of preserving remaining peatlands and increasing their climate resilience. To achieve this, there is a need to understand how deep the remaining peat is, and how much peat carbon remains.
Please write about the effects of intensive agriculture and farming practices on the peat loss in the UK lowland peatlands focusing on the Great Fen area. Please look into field drainage, and type of farming (cereals, general cropping, horticulture, dairy, grazing livestock). Also look into type work done on the fields (Ploughing, minimum tillage, no tillage and rotations).
The main part should be:
1. Identify common management practices that have driven peat loss, and alternative practices that may reduce ongoing decomposition, and increase climate resilience.
2. Conduct a systematic literature review, identifying alternative management practices that can help reduce rates of peat wastage in land still under arable agriculture across the region, based on the globally available literature. Look into paludiculture and wet farming and other viable solutions.
3. Identify potential methods for testing impacts of land use/management intensity/restoration date on peat depth.
Please use the literature provided and any other literature you can find that is relevant. If you did not have access to some of the literature let me know and maybe I can have access through my university. Please use as many resources as you want. It does not have to be exactly 25, the more the better but it can also be a bit less.
Here are some links: