Action: Restrict pedestrian access to peatlands
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of restricting pedestrian access to peatlands.
‘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.
Walking on peatlands can damage the vegetation and compress or erode the peat (e.g. Slater & Agnew 1977). Pedestrians are a particular problem when they repeatedly walk on the same area of peatland e.g. in popular tourist areas, or when scientists make repeat visits to sample plots. To prevent this damage, pedestrian access to peatlands could be reduced by interventions such as legislation, limits on visitor numbers, voluntary codes, signage and/or ensuring official paths are well maintained.
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Slater F.M. & Agnew A.D.Q. (1977) Observations on a peat bog’s ability to withstand increasing public pressure. Biological Conservation, 11, 21–27.