Walk & Talk: Peatland Restoration at Spittal of Glenmuick, Balmoral Estate

Time 09:45 - 13:00
Capacity 10 places available
Booking Cut-off Monday 18 Jul, 12:00:pm
Organiser Sue Emery
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Balmoral Estate began their Peatland Restoration journey in 2015 on the Spittal beat, the eastern most beat on Balmoral. The area is typical with peat hags, erosion gullies and areas of bare peat amongst good areas of dry heath and blanket bog at an elevation of 600m. Since 2015 the estate has restored peatland within an area of 200ha, reprofiled more than 60km of peat hags, installed hundreds of dams and baffles and revegetated nearly 8ha of bare peat.

Since 2015, the restoration techniques have evolved and improved, especially with bare peat. We will look at examples of all restoration techniques.

Alongside the restoration project there are two academic studies underway. Firstly, an Eddy Covariance Flux tower sited on an unrestored area of peatland; this device, operated by the James Hutton Institute, measures carbon dioxide emissions and carbon sequestered on the site, it has been running since 2018 and despite the challenges of the location is collecting useful data. The site surrounding the tower will be restored in 2023.

In addition, The University of the West and the James Hutton Institute are carrying out a PhD research project looking at the effectivity of restoration focusing on hydrological dynamics.

rpPeatland Restoration

Members are warmly invited to join this Walk & Talk event, which will look at sites pre and post restoration with a chance to look at and discuss the various restoration techniques employed:

Key elements of the project which participants will see and discuss during the morning programme:

  • Background to Balmoral Estate, the peatland restoration project at Spittal and the historical land management context
  • The various stages of the restoration process from feasibility through to post restoration
  • The restoration contractor and the various techniques used to restore an eroded site – how techniques have evolved over time
  • The carbon flux tower - measuring greenhouse gas emissions from soils and degraded peatland and demonstrating how the emissions change after restoration
  • Options for financing – Peatland Action, Private Investment
  • The benefits – from biodiversity net gain to improved water quality and many more


We will be hosted by Richard Gledson, Balmoral Estate Factor with contributions from:

  • Dr Emily Taylor, General Manager, Crichton Carbon Centre
  • Daisy Whytock, CNPA Peatland Action Project Officer
  • Darrell Smith, peatland restoration contractor, Barker & Bland
  • Ailsa Johnson-Marshall – The James Hutton Institute

This event is free of charge to SLE Members, but booking is essential through the SLE website.


Additional event information:

Meeting point:

We’ll gather in the new overflow car park - across the bridge at Spittal of Glenmuick - from 9.30am with a view to starting promptly at 9.45am.

Link for location map: to follow

Format of the event

The Walk & Talk will open with a short introduction to Balmoral Estate and the peatland restoration project before we head up to the restoration site in a smaller number of 4WD vehicles.

We will look at several sites across the area, which is relatively flat. Walking is not too challenging although there are ditches to cross and bogs to avoid. All sites are within 750m of the tracks.

Other information: This event will take place outdoors, much of it on the hill, so please bring suitable clothing and footwear.

Booking information: Booking is essential. To secure your place please book online today.

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