After a lot of interesting discussions about the design of the Dutch pilot, the restoration works have started. Last spring a contractor started building the foreshore by using geotubes that are filled with dug peat material. Check the video to see how they do this!
Within the Dutch pilot site 'De Wieden' new peat pits are created by excavating peat. The peat and plant material is stored under water in a newly created shore, to prevent the organic material to be oxidized. In order to minimize carbon losses the transport of the peat and plant material is mostly done through a closed tube system.
Both the new peat pit and the new shore area give accommodation space for long-term carbon storage and thus act as a sink of CO2.
- Within the peat pit the process of terrestrialisation will start. Floating mats with plants and roots will grow, mainly for the sides of the peat pits. Submerged plants may grow and form a substrate for further terrestrialisation. This process has been observed in several places in Dutch lowland ecosystems and may continue for 100 or more years.
- On the new shore (reed like) vegetation will start to grow. In the first phase the lose material in the new shore will partly start to float and form compacter mats. On these mats vegetation will grow, accumulating roots and litter which further improve the substrate for other plants. This process is expected to continue for at least 20 years.
Before the works started project partners Orléans University and Manchester Metropolitan University did some measurements to start the monitoring of the site. Natuurmonumenten is very curious about the differences in GHG emissions before and after the works.