Case study

ET provides support to the Somerset Wildlife Trust

ET provides the Somerset Wildlife Trust with a GLA131-GGA Microportable Greenhouse Gas Analyser to investigate greenhouse gas emissions from Somerset's lowland peatlands.

Overview

Over the course of the past year, Somerset Wildlife Trust, and their partners at Avon Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and Natural England, have investigated the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Somerset’s lowland peatlands.

The solution

Using an ABB LGR-ICOS GLA131-GGA Microportable Gas Analyser supplied by Enviro Technology Services, the Trust monitored carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and methane (CH4 ) emissions between May and December 2022 across the lowland Somerset and North Somerset peatlands. 

Using portable chambers, 1379 flux samples were taken on 11 different sites. These were a combination of land owned by nature conservation organisations and privately-owned agricultural land. 

By visiting the sites multiple times throughout the monitoring period, they were able to see seasonal changes, and in particular the effects of the drought of summer 2022.

Lewis John and Beth Pudifoot with analyser
Lewis John and Beth Pudifoot with the GLA 1313 GGA

Client benefits

The project demonstrated that between May and December 2022, the Somerset Levels and Moors were a constant source of carbon release, ranging from a monthly average of 0.24 – 1.75 g/m2/hr CO2e.

These results highlight the importance of protecting peatland ecosystems, especially in the face of climate change where extreme weather conditions, such as those experienced during the monitoring period, are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. The project also reinforced the potential emission reductions that could be made to transform this landscape from net emissions to net sequestration. Such transformational change cannot be achieved without the cooperation of landowners. Crucially, this project engaged and supported local landowners in exploring peatland restoration and conservation.

Local GHG emissions evidence has been an important part of this engagement work. The project facilitated several on-farm GHG demonstrations, where landowners could see in real-time the GHG flux from their landholdings, and compare and contrast different areas known to be wetter or drier. This has been a powerful way of building trust in the science and theory. The final results of the project have also been presented to local landowners in a combination of group presentations and one-on-one discussions.

Beth Pudifoot monitoring greenhouse gases
Beth Pudifoot preparing to monitor greenhouse gases at Honeygar Farm, Somerset

We found the GLA131-GGA very simple and user-friendly, particularly the associated real-time interface. The smaller size meant it was convenient to transport and carry across the site. It consistently produced good-quality, reliable data, which, along with quick and detailed support and assistance from ET, meant the GLA131-GGA was ideal for use in our project.

Beth Pudifoot Peatland Partnership Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Officer

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