WT10: Management of lowland raised bog

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the management of lowland raised bog option.

How much will be paid

£164 per hectare (ha).

Where to use this option

Available for Higher Tier

Whole and part-parcel

Only on:

  • priority lowland raised bog habitat which can be kept wet enough for peat to form

Features that can be included in this option

The following features can be included if they are part of the land, even if they are ineligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS):

  • ditches, drains or dykes that are less than 4m wide
  • a pond or standing water that’s less than 1ha in total
  • rivers and streams that are less than 4m wide in most of the parcel
  • bracken beds if control is in the agreement
  • 5% cover of scrub or woodland, or if control is included in the agreement

How this option will benefit the environment

It will help to manage and restore priority lowland raised bog habitat

If successful there will be:

  • a rain-fed water table kept close to the surface of the peat
  • a cover of characteristic bog vegetation such as sphagnum moss and cotton grass maintained or expanded
  • reduced amounts of invasive bracken, scrub or non-native species


Agreement holders are likely to need to:

  • maintain water levels at the surface of the bog fed only by rainfall
  • control scrub and other undesirable species
  • dispose of cut material appropriately
  • maintain structures that help to control water levels

The agreement will set out what must not be done. It is likely agreement holders will not be allowed to:

  • apply any fertilisers or manures
  • use pesticides or herbicides, except for spot-treating or weed-wiping to control injurious weeds, invasive non-native species, nettles or bracken

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices

On your annual claim you will be asked to declare that you haven’t carried out any activities prohibited by the option requirements.

The detailed requirements for this option will be tailored to the Higher Tier site. Applicants should discuss and agree these requirements with their adviser.

The following options and supplements can be located on the same area as this option:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

The following section gives advice on carrying out this option successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this option.

Pick a location

This option should only be available for raised bog habitat where:

  • a substrate of bog peat remains in place
  • the area has a surface irrigated only by rainfall
  • high water levels sustained by rainfall can be maintained or restored

Maintain and restore raised bog

Get expert advice if using this option to pen rain water to raise water levels (smaller sites may only need internal drain blocking).

Drains or streams in adjacent areas may draw water away. Check what other wetland options might help reduce these effects.

If blocking off or diverting water flow associated with neighbouring drains and streams check what impact this might have on adjacent farm owners or occupiers. The Environment Agency should be consulted along with other relevant bodies eg Internal Drainage Boards. It may be necessary to obtain consent.

Pick a suitable penning structure

Pick water penning structures to suit the size of the drains. Use simple plastic pile or peat plug dams to block small grips and drains or more complex, engineered structures for larger drains. Try extended pile or peat bunds where the surface is either complex or very open and featureless, e.g. after peat milling. Large scale earthworks for rewetting will need careful feasibility study and planning.

Manage vegetation and water levels

Relatively undisturbed raised bog surfaces are usually more self-sustaining and should require less intervention.

Where sites may have dried out and colonised by trees and scrub, aim to:

  • remove up to 95% of native trees, and all invasive non-native species
  • keep water levels raised to reduce re-colonisation as birch, conifers and rhododendrons can exacerbate drying out

Control bracken by bruising, cutting or applying herbicides. A longer term solution would be to maintain raised water levels.

Further information

See the Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 10 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for 2017 applications.
  2. Information updated for applications in 2016.
  3. First published.