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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Pyritic peat addition as an aid to the reconstruction of lowland heath on arable soil at Mount Pleasant Farm, Dunwich, Suffolk, England

Published source details

Dunsford S.J., Free A.J. & Davy A.J. (1998) Acidifying peat as an aid to the reconstruction of lowland heath on arable soil: a field experiment. Journal of Applied Ecology, 35


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Add peat to soil (alongside planting/seeding) Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1992–1997 in an agricultural field that was previously heathland in Suffolk, UK (Dunsford et al. 1998) found that in two of three cases adding peat to soil, followed by sowing of seed of shrubland plants increased cover of common heather Calluna vulgaris compared to seeding alone. In two of three cases common heather cover was higher in areas where peat was added to soil and seed sown (40–49%) than areas where only seed was sown (8%). In 1992 peat was added to 18 randomly located 4 m x 8 m plots and seeds were sown, while only seeds were sown in 6 other plots. Thirty-two 1 m2 quadrats placed in each plot which were used to record the cover of common heather in August 1994 and September 1997.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)