Action: Physically exclude pedestrians from peatlands
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of physically excluding pedestrians from 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). This is a particular problem when the same area of peatland is repeatedly crossed e.g. in popular hiking areas, in tourist sites/nature reserves, or when scientists make repeat visits to sample plots. Pedestrians could be physically excluded from pristine peatlands to prevent damage or from damaged peatlands to let them recover. Physical barriers could be fences, fallen trees or areas of water/wet ground.
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.