Archaeology Dissertation student working with The National Trust for Scotland at Ben Lawers on net zero peatland restoration project

Published: 13 October 2023

To support the National Trusts for Scotland’s ongoing restoration work of the peatland and to provide improved understanding of the historic environment of this important upland landscape.

Archaeology Dissertation student working with The National Trust for Scotland at Ben Lawers on net zero peatland restoration project

Senior Honours student, Phil Gould, has just returned from sampling blanket peat at Ben Lawers NNR, close to the Tarmachan Ridge, as part of his dissertation project. In attendance were PhD student Gala Morris, supervisor Prof Nicki Whitehouse and Property Manager Helen Cole. A ‘Russian’ peat corer was used to recover about 3 metres of blanket peat. Phil was invited to undertake his work by The National Trust for Scotland Archaeologist, Derek Alexander. The research will support the National Trusts for Scotland’s ongoing restoration work of the peatland and provide improved understanding of the historic environment of this important upland landscape. Phil’s research will involve studying tiny pollen grains that are trapped within the peat deposits to understand the wider vegetational history of these uplands, details of the ecology of the bog and provide rich contextual information to the archaeological record under investigation. 

Ben Lawers is the highest mountain in the central Highlands and the 10th highest Munro at 1,214 metres.  It has the best collection of rare artic-alpine plants in Britain. It is a National Nature Reserve and is managed by the National Trust for Scotland for nature conservation and access. The hills are rich with archaeological remains. 

Peat Core (Photo: N. Whitehouse)

Phil Gould getting reading to start coring (Photo: N. Whitehouse)

Project Team wrapping the cores (Photo: N. Whitehouse)

Blanket peat landscape below Tarmachan Ridge

 


First published: 13 October 2023