Running out of time? Peatland rehabilitation, archaeology and cultural ecosystem services

Benjamin Gearey, Rosie Everett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration places ecosystem rehabilitation at the forefront of global efforts to restore biodiversity and tackle climate change. From a cultural and historical perspective, peatland environments are essential for the preservation of important archaeological sites, artefacts and palaeoecological records that do not survive on drier landscapes. Peatland degradation and destruction has in the past resulted in the damage and loss of significant numbers of sites and those that remain are vulnerable to human activities and processes associated with climate change. Although peatland restoration offers significant positive benefits for the in situ preservation of surviving peatland archaeology, explicit consideration of the nature and vulnerability of the archaeological resource tends to be omitted from academic discussions and practical peatland restoration schemes. This short communication highlights the key issues associated with the maintenance and protection of the cultural heritage of peatlands and concludes that improved communication between heritage and peatland restoration programmes and agendas is now urgently needed to ensure the preservation in situ of archaeological sites and deposits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Number of pages6
JournalMires and Peat
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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