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Prison Farm, Dartmoor, Peat Restoration

Fellows International Ltd. were tasked to assist with a project on Dartmoor helping in the fight against climate change by restoring the peat bogs. Peatlands can store huge amounts of carbon in the ground, but large areas have been drained in the past to extract peat for fuel. Excavators were brought in to dam drainage channels dug in the 19th century to dry the peat so it could be harvested for fuel. Damming the ditches holds back water on the moor making the area boggy and encouraging the growth of Sphagnum moss and other bog vegetation. Degrading peat releases carbon into the atmosphere, the objective is turn carbon sources from the atmosphere into carbon sinks, providing a crucial contribution to the battle against climate change.

Dartmoor has been used heavily for military training for many decades and still continues to be used today for live firing practice. The possibility of encountering UXO is high. Prison Farm has been used as a live firing range in the past for small arms but there is always the likelihood of encountering larger UXO on Dartmoor which would prove highly dangerous to the peat restoration project.

Fellows’ UXO operators were tasked with clearing routes marked out by the project managers using handheld magnetometers prior to the excavator operators constructing the dams, the project had a tight timeline as all the work needed to be completed by 31st March due to the commencement of the bird nesting season. Any anomalies were to be investigated by the UXO operators and a plan put in place to either remove the anomaly or avoid if possible. Fortunately, there were no UXO anomalies found during this project.

The project was finished safely and early despite, at times, some extremely harsh weather which is always an issue on Dartmoor.

If you have any similar requirement, please contact Fellows and we will be happy to advise or help.   

 t. 08000 424424 e.

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