Restoring degraded peatlands in Słowiński National Park Poland, for natural habitats and peatlands ecosystem services reconstruction (project acronym: Peat Restore)

Degraded peatlands in Słowiński Park Narodowy (Słowiński National Park) on Polish Baltic coast (raised bogs degraded by draining, afforestation and peat exploitation) will be restored to improve their biodiversity and ecosystem services, as carbon storage (stopping the CO2 emission from degrading peat), water retention and water purification. The main measures will be blocking of artificial ditches in more than 200 points and conservation of existing bog vegetation. Additionally, the degraded area after peat mining – the post-mining artificial waterbodies – will be experimentally restored to initiate the development of peat forming vegetation. As a result, the conservation status of ca 500 ha of Natura 2000 natural habitats will be improved, so as the N and P outflow from the degraded peatbogs to the Baltic Sea will be reduced, and the carbon storage in peat will be conserved.

Situation and Background

In Slowinski National Park, Poland, three former raised bogs (ca 1350ha in total) are degraded by XIX and XX century draining and afforestation. They are currently covered by degraded bog forest with small fragments of the typical mire vegetation. Draining ditches, which are remnants of XIX century draining, are still active, promoting water outflow. The dried peat decomposes, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere, just as dissolved carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus with the water outflow to the Łebsko coastal lagoon, directly connected with the Baltic Sea.

Additionally, southeast from the Park in the past the peat was excavated. Presently, the artificial water basins created by former peat mining (ca 30ha) – are included to the National Park and need restoration of peat-forming vegetation and ecosystem services.

Project Activities and Effects

Project goal: Demonstrative restoration of peatlands in Slownski National Park, by  stopping water outflow by artificial ditches, reducing peat decomposition (with reducing consequent CO2 emission, and dissolved carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus outflow with water), and initiating peat-forming vegetation in post-mining area.

Objectives:

  • To improve water conditions of 1350 ha of peatlands by stopping water outflow, restoring or improving mire or bog forests habitats; conserving ca 37 mln Mg CO2 by preventing peatlands degradation. To stop the outflow of dissolved carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus with water from degraded peatlands. To maintain and restore 60 ha of the most valuable open peat-forming vegetation.
  • To initiate peat forming vegetation on ca 30 ha of artificial peat-mining water basins;
  • To improve public awareness of ecological services of peatlands and to exchange experience of southern Baltic countries in mire habitats conservation and restoration of mire ecological services. To contribute to the coherent message from all southern-Baltic states (DE, PL, LT, LV, EE);
  • To put the peatlands ecological services (carbon storage, water retention, preventing water pollution and eutrophication, biodiversity supporting) on the political agenda in DE, PL, LT, LV, EE). To express and accent the coherence of these services, with special emphasis on the coherence between biodiversity and other services.

Main Actions:

  • Peatbogs restoration measures (blocking ditches, trees removing)
  • Results assessment and monitoring
  • Testing of innovative methods of initiation of peat forming vegetation after peat mining
  • Elaboration of recommendations for experts and stakeholders on mire management “with practical demonstration”
  • Assessment of socioeconomic benefits
  • Communication with the stakeholders by reports, publications and meetings
  • Adjusting collaboration and experience exchange between Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
  • The policy lobbing with preparing of After-project plan

Beneficiary

Klub Przyrodników (Naturalists’ Club Poland)

Partners

The project is a part of a bigger international LIFE project implemented in all Southern Baltic regions: DE, PL, LT, LV and EE by 9 partners. The main partners of the project are:

  • NABU (Germany) – coordinator of international cooperation;
  • Lithuanian Fund for Nature, University of Tallinn, University of Latvia, Riga – Other countries experience providers
  • Slowinski National Park – project landowner

Project region 

Poland, Pomorskie Region

Project duration 

2017-01-01 – 2021-06-30

Budget

total project budget: €1.407.565
funding baltfc: € 318.227

Contact

Naturalists’ Club Poland Website

Links

Peat Restore Project Website of the Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union in Germany (NABU)

Karte Peat

Proposed project location in Slowinski National Park. Direction of water outflow (incl. nitrogen, phosphorus and dissolved carbon from degraded peatlands) indicated by blue arrows. CO2 from degraded peatlands is emitted to the atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bild Peta 1

Open bog stil providing ecosystem services. Fot. Pawel Pawlaczyk

 

Bild Peat 3

The water basin created after peat excavation. Fot. Pawel Pawlaczyk

 

Bild Peat 2

Drained and degraded forest on the peat. Fot. Pawel Pawlaczyk