We are working with Loch Lomond Golf Course and Scottish Natural Heritage (via the Peatland Action Fund) to remove rhododendron from important peatland habitats.
Peatland at the site appears to be in the form of a heavily modified and somewhat fragmented mixture of basin-fen (i.e. a wetland which receives water and nutrients from surface and groundwater as well as from rainfall) and successional bog woodland, enclosed to the south by the River Finlas, to east and west by the higher ground of the Rossdhu parkland and the hills of west Loch Lomondside, and isolated from the waters of Loch Lomond to the north perhaps by a raised shingle beach or other geological deposit. The formation of the peat has been dependent on high soil water levels for all or part of the year over thousands of years. Given a widely accepted average rate of peat accumulation of 1mm per year, it is likely that some areas of the site have been accumulating peat since at least 7000 years ago.
The total area of peatland habitats within the project area appears to be around 26 hectares, which if we assume a mean peat depth from our records of 323 cm, equates to around 840 000 m3 of peat. If we further assume a bulk density for the peat of 0.1 (i.e. 10% carbon dry matter, 90% water) then we have around 84 000m3 of carbon, equivalent to 311 000 tonnes of CO2 (tCO2e).
To put this in perspective, the soil carbon stored in the peatland units within the project area at Loch Lomond Golf Course is equivalent to one third of the entire estimated annual uptake of CO2 by all UK forests*!
Or to the annual average annual CO2 emissions of 40 390 UK residents (@7.7 tCO2e/pp).