The Flow Country has been home to humans for thousands of years. Read more about the peatlands' use over time here.
Past impacts on the blanket bog are small in comparison to more recent years. In the 1970s to 1980s improvements in technology coupled with governmental tax incentives has meant that large areas of the blanket bog could be drained and used on an industrial scale for forest planting.
Fast-growing non-native conifers were planted and left to grow in the drained peat. After years of debate and negotiations between land owners and conservationists who realised the value of peatlands, the tax breaks that drove the planting stopped, now it is also clear that the forests planted here do not produce good quality timber. Once the planting stopped it was possible to begin new management and restoration work in some areas to improve the peatlands, making it healthier and improving the ecosystem services it provides.
Discover more about science behind peatlands and the restoration work being done on the blanket bog here.