The process of peatland restoration can be a daunting one. Yet from feasibility studies and securing funding to selecting the right contractors and navigating the verification process, Caledonian Climate is committed to partnering with landholders every step of the way.
Our model is shaped by the experience and expertise of our team and our Advisory Board, and the latest scientific research, tested and applied in the field. Our working processes are fair, transparent and designed to ensure that maximum value is returned on your natural capital, with minimal risk.
We understand that every project is unique, and each landholder has distinct priorities, concerns and circumstances. We therefore take a flexible approach to all projects, addressing our partners’ specific needs and circumstances, whatever the scale or complexity.
We’ve developed strong relationships with the best contractors in the industry and, with regular check-ups from our team throughout a project’s duration, we can guarantee that our work is of the highest standard, using the best in modern restoration techniques.
Landholder services – step by step
1. Feasibility study
Using both aerial photography and boots on the ground, the first step is to establish the project’s eligibility. Aspects that we explore include overall site topography, grazing impacts, flora and fauna. From this, we discuss your potential natural capital opportunities and how best to address them.
2. Your options
We will then present options for financing the works, or possibly introducing you to a business
partner, with whom you can consider building a long-term relationship. The advantage to you with this option is that their investment will provide a steady income stream while enhancing the natural biodiversity of your peatland and supporting the local economy. We will also talk you through the proposed commercial terms for the project.
3. Project administration
Once given the green light, we take administrative responsibility for the project, securing the necessary validations and registrations, and organising the competitive tender process for selecting contractors. At this stage, we also carry out detailed peat depth surveys, bird nesting surveys and diligent Habitat Impact Assessments (HIAs).
4. Working on site
Once we’re ready to start work on the peatland itself, and depending upon the weather and season, you can expect contractors to be on site for six to ten weeks. This time frame typically allows for an area of approximately 100 hectares to be fully restored – and you’ll see a dramatic change.
Before, during and after the project, there are several validation and verification audits carried out by an independent body. These are crucial to the integrity of the project and ensure that the carbon credits unlocked are genuine and accredited. Caledonian Climate commits to see the project through to the year-five verification. Thereafter, we offer a number of options regarding responsibility for maintaining the restored area and compliance with any ongoing verification.
6. Carbon credits
Ultimately, the restoration of peatland leads to the generation of verified carbon credits which are then made available to individuals, SMEs and larger corporates looking to offset their emissions.
The benefits of peatland restoration to landholders
- A huge boost to biodiversity. Healthy peatlands (also known as ‘active bogs’) provide a unique ecosystem for rare nesting birds, plants, fungi and micro-organisms, many of which are not found together anywhere else in the world.
- A significant reduction in downstream flood risks through the creation of steady flow rates into rivers.
- A reduction in run-off and PH spikes that significantly improves the quality of water in downstream rivers, supporting the fish population and reducing the cost of processing drinking water.
- Notable improvements to hydro-energy performance through the retention of water in the catchment area, releasing it over an extended period for more consistent power generation.
Minimising the risks
There are risks associated with carrying out a peatland restoration project, but we believe these are manageable. We provide landholders with a variety of options to reduce their financial exposure and are always happy to discuss these further.
The multiple land-use mosaic
There’s an ever-increasing recognition that rural land has enormous potential to contribute towards Scotland’s 2045 net zero target. And in the Scottish Highlands, the trend away from traditional land use is likely to continue. Meanwhile, the interest in restoring land using Nature Based Solutions is gaining considerable momentum.
The challenge, as always, will be to identify how such opportunities can be sustainable in the long term while complementing existing land uses and rural communities. While individual priorities may change, both the creation of new woodlands and the restoration of peatlands are likely to form part of a multiple land-use mosaic for generations to come.
Of course, careful project planning and a clarity of intentions from the outset will prove vital for successful implementation. And thoughtfully structured peatland restoration projects with an emphasis on transparency and long-term sustainability will produce substantial benefits for landholders, businesses, local communities and biodiversity.
This is where our experience and expertise lies, and we can help you gain the best possible value from the diversification of your land holdings. Do get in touch to find out more.