Galloway Peatlands – There’s Something In The Water…

Dumfries & Galloway has a very important part to play in Scotland’s Peatland story. Around 20% of Scotland’s peatland can be found in our region, but what do we know about peaty water? Using the Upper Urr as an example, this event will feature a number of different peatland water experts, exploring what we don’t and do know!

Event – 3-6pm, 28th July, meet outside Corsock Village Hall.

The Crichton Carbon Centre, in partnership with Galloway Fisheries Trust and the Upper Urr Environment Trust, are kick starting a programme of water quality monitoring, peatland restoration prospects, and waterside gatherings to explore the current condition of the Upper Urr and steps that can be taken to support a healthy river system, riparian habitat, and restored peatland. This first gathering, on Thursday 28th July, marks the start of this pro-active environmental collaboration.

You are invited to join us on the banks of the Upper Urr to talk about the above concerns and begin a water quality monitoring, citizen science, project.

Galloway Fisheries Trust will lead a series of water quality activities, including:

  • Kick sampling of the riverbed to reveal and identify aquatic invertebrates and why they are indicators of water quality,
  • pH level testing,
  • Water temperature testing with Tiny Tags,
  • Peat Particle tests

Crichton Carbon Centre’s ‘Team Peat’ experts will talk about steps that can be taken to begin a peatland restoration programme, and what that entails, and walk with us to the peatland to probe the peat.

The UUET will talk with us about climate mitigation possibilities to help safeguard Urr Water’s water quality and aquatic populations.

Together, we will have the opportunity to talk about, learn about, and explore Upper Urr Water and the surrounding landscape and envision how we can make this beautiful spot, and the adjacent peatland, climate resilient habitats that are accessible to local communities.


We invite you to join us for this, the first, waterside gatherings to explore Upper Urr water quality and peatland restoration prospects with experts in the field.

If you want to join the group to learn all about peaty water, please book your free ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kick-tag-n-probe-tickets-387600853587.


Approximate event timings:

2.50pm Meet outside Corsock Village Hall and car share from there to the Urr Water sampling site.

3.00pm Galloway Fisheries Trust will introduce us to Kick Sampling and water monitoring. If you want to go in the water to kick for aquatic invertebrates, please wear suitable footwear. The riverbed is uneven and slippery, so a walking stick is advised. Back on dry land, species collected will be identified before being released back in the water. pH levels and temperatures will be taken and recorded, and we’ll sift for peat particles. GFT and CCC will talk about the importance of water quality in our burns, rivers, lochs and peatlands, and introduce their water monitoring project on Galloway’s Silver Flowe and South Dee peatlands.

4.30pm We’ll break for afternoon tea and a chat. UUET will introduce the Trust and their vision, which includes peatland restoration. CCC’s Team Peat will talk about the prospect of peatland restoration here and how a restored peatland would benefit water quality, wildlife, and carbon storage. There will be time and space for questions and sharing of thoughts and ideas. Please bring your own picnic treats and liquid refreshments. We’ll bake and bring a cake to share.

5.30pm We’ll wander over to the peatland to take in the view and probe the peat before heading back to the Village Hall.




The event is being led by Dr Kerry Morrison, Peatland Connections Officer at the Crichton Carbon Centre. Looking ahead to the day, Kerry said:

“I’m so excited about this event. It’s wonderful when organisations and people come together to collaborate on an environmental project that will safeguard our landscape for future generations – both human and the more-than-human.” 
Nick Chisholm, Galloway Glens Project Officer, added:
A bog should be a place of vitality, can we do anything to keep it this way? None of our freshwater is as vulnerable as the mysterious pools in peatlands, their darkness is their kryptonite. Our increasingly warm and volatile climate is absorbed by the black water, putting them on a gentle simmer that much of the life within them is not used to. The Crichton Carbon centre is a world leader in peatland science, and we are delighted to be providing a little bit of resource to help them in their valuable work.

The ‘Peatland Connections’ project is now underway, seeking to use art and science to reconnect rural communities, scientists, land managers and policymakers with our beautiful peatlands. The project is exploring the functions peatlands provide now, and exploring how we can better measure and account for these functions through today’s complex world of land use decisions. For more information about the project, visit the project website here: https://www.peatlandconnections.com/.