The first conference dedicated to research on peatlands in the Flow Country is taking place in Thurso, Caithness this week. The globally important patterned bog system is the UK’s largest single tract of peatland and largest store of terrestrial carbon.
Researchers and students from around the UK, as well as other stakeholders, including representatives from the renewable energy sector, the government and NGOs are expected to attend the conference, which concludes on Thursday 25 October.
The conference will highlight the latest findings and results from past and ongoing projects exploring a variety of peatland related topics, from carbon storing processes to the impact of restoration on different species.
Dr Mike Billett of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) will deliver a keynote talk on carbon capture, storage and loss in the Flow Country peatlands. Research by CEH colleagues on carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from an undisturbed peatland will also be presented. Other speakers include representatives from the University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews and RSPB.
Conference participants are also expected to identify key areas of research that should be prioritised for the peatlands of the Flow Country in the future, as well as strategies to deliver high quality science that is relevant to society.
The conference is co-organised by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and CEH, and supported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The programme also included a visit to the RSPB Forsinard reserve.