Moorland restoration: potential and progress
Moorlands are open upland areas usually on podsols or peat covered in blanket bog, dwarf shrub, bracken and other associated vegetation types. Moorlands have faced a catalogue of pressures (Crowle and McCormack, this volume), resulting in degradation of moorland vegetation, animal communities and hydrological systems leading to loss of ecosystem functioning. Ecological restoration assists the recovery of a degraded, damaged or destroyed ecosystem to re-create a naturally functioning self-sustaining system (Wheeler and Shaw, 1995). Restoration has the potential to enhance ecological character and nature conservation value, to improve carrying capacity for agriculture and recreation/tourism, as well as to increase the carbon sequestration potential and to reduce the discharge of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) that affects water quality.