Vital peatlands restored by leading renewable developer

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Vital peatlands at a major wind farm site in South Lanarkshire have been restored thanks to a partnership between a leading renewable developer and a local construction firm.

Taking place at its Middle Muir Wind Farm site, OnPath Energy (formerly Banks Renewables) partnered with Drumclog Plant Ltd to revitalise the peat bog, securing its future for years to come.

Making up 20% of Scotland’s land, peat bogs are essential carbon stores, but with nearly four out of five subjected to damage1; there is an urgent need to restore them.

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The recent restoration at Middle Muir ensures these peatlands will continue to capture and store carbon effectively, mitigating climate change impacts and supporting local biodiversity.

Rachel Edmunds, Senior Development Planner at OnPath Energy.Rachel Edmunds, Senior Development Planner at OnPath Energy.
Rachel Edmunds, Senior Development Planner at OnPath Energy.

Rachael Edmunds, Senior Development Planner at OnPath Energy, said: “Preserving and enhancing peatlands like this is crucial for the country’s biodiversity.

“Peatlands are phenomenal natural carbon sinks, locking in vast amounts of carbon, that is why we must do everything in our power to secure their future. We also know that the government has an aspiration – as part of its drive to net zero – to increase peatland habitats across the country.

“While challenging, this peatland restoration lets us directly contribute to those national targets and maximise the overall positive environmental impact from our renewable energy developments.

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“We’re incredibly grateful to have been able to work with Drumclog Plant Ltd throughout this, whose experience and expertise has been invaluable to the whole project.”

Ewan Turner, Director at Drumclog Plant.Ewan Turner, Director at Drumclog Plant.
Ewan Turner, Director at Drumclog Plant.

Middle Muir Wind Farm received planning permission from the Scottish Government Energy Consents and Deployment Unit in September 2014.

In 2023, a planning application to extend its lifespan for up to 40 years was approved by the Energy Consents Unit (ECU), ensuring its continued operation.

Drumclog Plant, known for leading habitat restoration in Scotland carrying out for clients like NatureScot, Scottish Forestry, RSPB, Scottish Power, Falck, and SSE brought 20 years of expertise to the restoration project.

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Ewan Turner, Director at Drumclog Plant, “At Middle Muir Wind Farm, our focus has been on implementing diverse bog restoration techniques to elevate water tables and halt the erosion of the peat.

“We've addressed extensive areas of exposed peat hag, reshaping, and covering them to prevent further degradation. One technique we've employed is peat hag reprofiling, where we reshape and cover exposed peat edges to prevent further erosion and ensure the bog retains its water.

“Additionally, we installed peat dams to elevate water levels and maintain wet conditions which is absolutely crucial for peatland health. All of these techniques will be massively beneficial to the peat bog and help restore it to its former self.

“Working with OnPath Energy on this project has been truly rewarding. Opportunities like this don't come along very often, and as a local, family-run business, it's fantastic to have a steady flow of work that benefits not just us but our local employees as well.

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“What's more, even though OnPath Energy has changed its name from Banks Renewables, the team and their values have remained the same. This continuity has been brilliant.

“OnPath Energy genuinely invests in local businesses and the community and from day one, they've ensured that it’s local companies like ours that reap the benefits of opportunities like this.”

From October 2022 to September 2023, the Middle Muir Wind Farm, near Douglas produced around 92,000 MWh of renewable energy.

Since 2020 alone, Middle Muir Wind Farm has directly contributed over £350,000 to local groups via the South Lanarkshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund (REF).