The impacts of vegetation cutting on peatlands and heathlands: A review of evidence.

Published online
12 Jan 2024
Published by
Natural England
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Moody, C. S. & Holden, J.
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A rapid evidence review was conducted focussing on rain-fed peatlands and heathland systems to understand the nature of the literature on the impacts of vegetation cutting. The priority questions interrogated by the evidence review were informed by a stakeholder survey. Following standard Natural England evidence review protocols, and a professional, independently performed, literature search, 37 relevant evidence sources were identified. Very few studies included a true 'unmanaged' control, with the majority of studies comparing cutting to another management strategy (usually burning or grazing). Where 'uncut' or 'unburnt' areas were included, they were often not classed as true 'unmanaged' controls, and so drawing comparisons to 'non-intervention strategies' was generally not possible. Several studies did not report on whether the cuttings were left or removed, making it difficult to draw any general conclusions about residue management.

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