AECOM has completed the first phase of a peatland restoration project at the Natural Capital Laboratory in the Scottish Highlands, near Loch Ness.

Recycled plastic piles have been installed by AECOM employees across Scotland volunteering their time. By stemming the flow of water from ditches across a six-hectare peatland area, the aim is to restore the peatland and improve wetland vegetation types, preventing carbon from being released from the bog.

The Natural Capital Laboratory (NCL) is a five-year project set up in 2019 by AECOM, the Lifescape Project, landowners Emilia and Roger Leese and the University of Cumbria. It supports nature restoration in a 100-hectare area and uses artificial intelligence, drone technology, earth observation data, GIS data, and thermal imaging to monitor the live environment.

AECOM has been testing and trialling ‘nature positive’ solutions, technologies and methodologies, to measure and monitor the impact of nature restoration.

Gert Vermeiren, MD for AECOM environment, water and energy – Europe & India, said, “Peatland restoration plays an important role in preventing carbon release. But it’s only with monitoring and building a picture based on detailed data that we can understand how to protect this key natural resource.