Blanket Bog is a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitat. The peat it forms represents the largest terrestrial carbon store in the UK. Blanket Bog development is dependent on a number of very specific conditions including sufficient rainfall, suitable temperature, topography and landuse.
Areas of upland blanket bog without any nature conservation or landscape designation are often targeted by wind farm developers. They are high, exposed, windy places often sparsely populated and relatively unprotected by statutory regulations.
The development of wind farms on peat raises a number of issues, some of which are not easy to resolve.
Natural England commissioned this work to:
Understand and collate evidence of the impact of wind farm developments on Blanket Peatland in England bogs.
Develop a set of assessment criteria against which a development proposal can be tested to determine the scale of impact and enable an appropriate response to the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Natural England will use the findings to help assess windfarm applications and develop guidance for staff, developers and local authorities. Part 1 details the work and the main findings. Part 2 of the report contains the appendices and references.