The challenge of conducting research in the Cairngorms

Sometimes accessing your study site can have its challenges – in my case, snow.

The images show the James Hutton Institute’s flux tower in the Cairngorm mountains at an altitude of 680 metres, and the ‘road’ (a Land Rover track) to get there. Rebekka, my supervisor, had to ski up to the site in order to do monthly maintenance.

Hopefully the snow will melt shortly so that I can begin installing my hydrology kit…

My research will investigate the effectivity of restoration in an eroded upland peatland, focusing on examining and understanding hydrological dynamics and potential trajectories.

Approximately 35% of Scottish peatlands show evidence of erosion, many of which contribute water to more than one catchment. Around 70% of all drinking water in the United Kingdom is derived from peat-dominated upland catchments.

Peatland erosion gives rise to reservoir sedimentation, dissolved carbon and carbon particulates in water supplies, and potentially exacerbates flooding.