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Peatland Restoration Project Shortlisted for Award

Sue White, Peatland Restoration Officer Sue White, Peatland Restoration Officer Zoom The peatland restoration project in the Cunningsburgh hills has been shortlisted for the 2015 Golden Plover Awards. The Golden Plover Award for Moorland Management is jointly presented by The Heather Trust and GWCT Scotland to recognise progressive, practical and sustainable moorland management in Scotland. The award is open to estates, farms, individuals and syndicates who have shown an outstanding commitment to the uplands on a wide range of issues, from grouse production and wader conservation to Carbon storage and rural employment.

The Award is presented annually at the Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace, and the winners are presented with a limited edition print of a golden plover by celebrated Scottish artist Colin Woolf.

Hazel and Kenneth MacKenzies’ apportionment north of Cunningsburgh has been transformed through peat dam construction, re-profiling eroding hags and re-vegetating bare peat and is a worthy contender for this award. The work has been carried out by Shetland Amenity Trust, Hazel and Kenneth themselves and local digger driver Sean MacKenzie and was funded by the SNH’s Peatland Action Fund.

The number of dams originally proposed has been far exceeded with 460 dams built and around 300 metres of erosion reprofiled. Three kilometers of ditches and gulleys were blocked to reduce carbon losses and improve the habitat, which is home to whimbrel and golden plover.

The project has proved that relatively simple methods of peatland restoration are possible in Shetland, and great results have been achieved using local materials and experimental techniques. The Mackenzies now plan to extend access to the site and establish a farm shop.

The other finalists are Mar Estate in Aberdeenshire and Gordonbush Estate in Sutherland and the winner will be announced at the Scottish Game Fair in July, following a judges visit in June.

If you are interested in Peatland Restoration and SRDP AEC options please get in touch with Sue White, Peatland Restoration Project Officer at Shetland Amenity Trust (sue@shetlandamenity.org).

For further details on the project see the original project press release, or news section on Nortower Lodges website.