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18th March 2022

Effectiveness of construction mitigation measures to avoid or minimise impact to groundwater dependent wetlands and to peat hydrology

Cover photographs courtesy of: Abertay University

The overall aim of the project was to review the effectiveness of standard mitigation measures to maintain the hydrological conditions within peat soils and wetland habitats. The findings of this work will assist the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to provide knowledge and guidance to developers in relation to appropriate construction techniques and enhance practice around avoidance, impact minimisation, habitat creation and restoration.

This research identified the most common impacts from construction activities as well as the efficacy of different mitigation methods in minimising those construction impacts on peatlands and wetlands. The work involved a literature review of evidence of the impacts of construction on habitats and groundwater in groundwater dependent wetlands and peat. Developers and contractors were consulted regarding the effectiveness of different approaches; on remedial actions taken during monitoring or observation and on identifying ongoing issues. The research was also used to develop policy and regulatory relevant recommendations.