Scotland’s first peatland restoration course

Peatland and mountains

Peatlands are a vital nature-based solution to the climate emergency.

A new course in peatland restoration - the first of its kind in Scotland - has been developed by SRUC in partnership with NatureScot Peatland ACTION.

The short course, which consists of two week-long sessions supported by additional online learning, is aimed at graduates currently involved in, or aspiring to work in, the planning of peatland restoration schemes - a vital nature-based solution to the climate emergency.

Peatlands are the largest natural store of carbon on land, but when the peat is exposed or its hydrology modified, it emits carbon in the form of greenhouse gases, thereby contributing to climate change.

The Scottish Government has a target to restore 250,000 hectares of degraded peatland by 2030. However, there is currently a shortage of people with skills in peatland restoration, with the fast-growing sector requiring an additional 1500 skilled people over the next few years to meet the country’s ambitious climate targets.

The Peatland Assessment and Restoration course, which will be delivered from SRUC’s Barony campus near Dumfries, will provide an overview of peatland ecology and hydrology and an understanding of the causes of peatland degradation.

It will allow candidates to develop expertise in mapping and surveying peatland, before designing effective interventions for the restoration of the site. It will also cover all stages of planning, funding and delivering a restoration scheme during the short course.

Participants must be able to commit to spending two weeks on site between 12-16 December and 20-24 March in addition to completing online learning modules in between the college-based blocks.

Peatland ACTION will cover 50 per cent of the £1100 course fee, with potential for additional assistance available depending on circumstances.

Becky Shaw, NatureScot’s Peatland ACTION Workforce Planning and Development Manager, said: “The new Peatland Assessment and Restoration course at SRUC is a great first step in supporting the skills for planning peatland restoration, and we’re delighted to see it up and running.”

SRUC Course Leader James Banks said: “This is an exciting opportunity to learn from experts and to get hands-on experience of addressing the global climate and biodiversity emergencies. We aim to enable course participants to make positive change happen.”

To find out more or register your interest, please contact James Banks at:

Posted by SRUC on 03/11/2022

Tags: barony, Climate and Environment
Categories: SRUC and Campuses | Natural Economy | Sustainability