Action: Use barriers to keep livestock off ungrazed peatlands
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of using barriers to keep livestock off peatlands that have never (or not recently) been grazed.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
This section considers the effects of excluding livestock (with fences or other barriers) from an area of natural, ungrazed peatland whilst the surrounding peatland becomes grazed. This means the exclusion area has never (or at least not recently) been grazed. Domestic livestock directly consume peatland vegetation, destroy peatland vegetation by trampling, create bare patches of ground (e.g. repeatedly used tracks), and affect nutrient balance through excretion (Lindsay et al. 2014).
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: removing or excluding livestock from degraded peatlands; rewetting, if peatland has been drained for agriculture; low intensity grazing as a traditional or novel conservation tool; exclude wild herbivores from peatlands; use fences or barriers specifically to protect planted/sown peatland plants.
Lindsay R., Birnie R. & Clough J. (2014) Grazing and Trampling. IUCN UK Peatland Programme Briefing Note No. 7.