Visions from nature

Preparations for restoration of a peatland – field notes

By Marte Fandrem

Tuesday 23.5 we went to Hildremsvatnet nature reserve in Åfjord together with Statens Naturoppsyn (SNO), and Fylkesmannen to survey two mires that we last year suggested should be prioritised for restoration.

The peatlands in the area was surveyed by us last year, when we looked at the extent of drainage from ditches (you will find the report here, but it’s in Norwegian). The nature reserve is conserved for its great forests, but also contains large areas of peatland. Unfortunately almost all of it was drained in the ’70s. After the massive work of digging out all the ditches, the peatlands seem to just have been abandoned. They were never afforested or converted into agricultural land. Today they are within the borders of the nature reserve and thus also indirectly protected against further degradation.

Two of the largest mires in the area will hopefully soon be restored by blocking drains and cutting down trees that have started growing on the mires after the drainage. It’s almost 150 ditches, alltogether ca. 9000 meters, on just these two.

We joined to discuss the practicalities concerning the restoration process in light of what we know of the peatland ecology and the specifics of these mires. It’s much to be done before a peatland is finally restored. First step was the survey we did last year, then comes todays measurements of inclination of the mires and evaluation of how many dams and where to put them to block the ditches effectively. Then comes the step of instructing a contractor of what needs to be done.

We were lucky with the weather (we even got some sun in the afternoon, even though the photo might not show it)!

Equipment is placed and the ditched inspected. The mires have been effectively drained with ditches placed ca. 8-12 meters apart. Some pine and birch are now found on the mires as an effect of the drainage. In the background you can see some of the forestof the nature reserve. Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum
Equipment is placed and the ditched inspected. The mires have been effectively drained with ditches placed ca. 8-12 meters apart. Some pine and birch are now found on the mires as an effect of the drainage. In the background you can see some of the forestof the nature reserve. Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

The water level is high in many of the ditches, indicating that the effectiveness of the ditches might not be very good. Perfect for us! That means just a few measurements will be necessary to restore the mire. Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum
The water level is high in many of the ditches, indicating that the effectiveness of the ditches might not be very good. Perfect for us! That means just a few measurements will be necessary to restore the mire. Photo: Marte Fandrem, NTNU University Museum, CC BY-SA 4.0
Aerial photo of the two mires from 2012. The extent of drainage is easily visible. Photo: norgeibilder.no
Aerial photo of the two mires from 2012. The extent of drainage is easily visible. Photo: norgeibilder.no COPYRIGHT © 2015 Statens Kartverk, Statens Vegvesen, NIBIO, Geodata AS
Aerial photo of the two mires from 1969. They were still pristine at that time. Photo: norgeibilder.no
Aerial photo of the two mires from 1969. They were still pristine at that time. Photo: norgeibilder.no COPYRIGHT © 2015 Statens Kartverk, Statens Vegvesen, NIBIO, Geodata AS


Legg igjen en kommentar