Peatland conservation in Buchan, north-east Scotland: The historic context and contemporary issues

E Johnston, C Soulsby

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Scottish peatlands are now recognised as important habitats for conservation, and are increasingly protected by both national and international designations. This paper examines peatland conservation in north-east Scotland, using recently published data to assess habitat quality, and relating this to longer-term historical trends in attitudes towards peatlands, and their utilisation. The historical data indicates that peatland losses in northeast Scotland have been extensive, and occurred rapidly during the 18th and 19th centuries, when peatlands were regarded as fuel sources, or wastelands which could be converted to agricultural use. Threats have lessened in the second half of the 20th century, and many sites are now protected by conservation designations. However, historical attitudes towards peatlands often persist, and this can pose problems which must be addressed if conservation management is to be successful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-298
Number of pages16
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • peatlands
  • conservation
  • protective designations
  • Scotland
  • protected areas

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