Training for success – why we want to help more people get into peatland restoration

Training for success – why we want to help more people get into peatland restoration

Peatland Action - Nature Scot

In this blog article NatureScot's Peatland ACTION’s Workforce Development Team highlights how it supports peatland restoration work

We need more contractors with the highly skilled excavator drivers to do the restoration work on the ground; we need project designers to plan out what restoration is needed, and where; we need surveyors to carry out hydrological and wildlife surveys and monitoring; and we need agents and consultants to support and advise landowners and managers through the application and financial processes involved.

Simply put, more peatland restoration means more work and more people needed to do it. It’s a win-win. As the sector grows there will be more local, green jobs available to provide well-paid, satisfying and worthwhile work for more and more people. They in turn will be helping restore our precious peatlands, with all the benefits for Scotland’s biodiversity, climate, and economy that that brings.

Peatland ACTION training event at Abronhill, Cumbernauld ©NatureScot

It’s the job of Peatland ACTION’s Workforce Development Team to help more people to get into the peatland restoration sector. They offer a wide range of resources and training opportunities – many of them free, to open the door to the many green jobs and career opportunities that are now available thanks to the huge increase in demand for all these services.

The team works closely with a range of trainers and training providers to help support this. For scheme designers and surveyors there are Continuous Personal Development (CPD) courses in subjects from hydrological surveys, bare peat restoration and reptiles on peatlands coming up. The team is also supporting Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)’s two 10-day Peatland Assessment and Restoration courses this autumn. You can find more information on SRUC’s website.

Students on a SRUC peatland course field trip at Strathvaich Estate, Easter Ross ©NatureScot

There are also courses and webinars for both existing contractors and new businesses aiming to get into the peatland restoration delivery sector. Peatland ACTION works with the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) to run tendering webinars to help businesses engage with our work and the tendering requirements. These webinars are free to attend by registering with the Supplier Development Programme.

There are two upcoming webinars scheduled – one for anyone interested in tendering for peatland restoration work, and one aimed at people looking for new entrant opportunities to learn more about these new tender opportunities on upcoming NatureScot Peatland ACTION projects. The first, open to all and suitable for businesses looking to find out more about tendering for a number of Peatland ACTION contracts, is on Wednesday 3 July 11-12:30 for Novar Estate . On Thursday 4 July at 2-3:30pm there will be a webinar aimed at new entrants, focussing on Glen Dye Moor.

A digger carrying out peatland restoration work at Buccleuch Estate ©NatureScot
Peatland monitoring surveyor at Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve ©NatureScot

Colleagues at the Crichton Carbon Centre also form part of the Workforce Development Team, and run a range of practical training events for contractors. You can find more information about these, and get onto their mailing list, on their website.

The Workforce Development Team also go out to career fairs and schools events across the country encouraging more young people to consider this growing sector, as well as highlighting the possibilities for freelancers and consultants to diversify and explore these new opportunities.

In addition to all this there are regular site visits that you can sign up for, and a wide range of online technical guidance that you can find on the Peatland ACTION website.

The message is clear – peatland restoration work is growing, and will continue to do so for many, many years to come. Now is the time to get a piece of the (peatland) action.