An updated map of peat extent for Wales has been developed by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, with support from the British Geological Survey and Natural Resources Wales in support of the Glastir Monitoring & Evaluation Programme, commissioned by the Welsh Government.
This map represents a considerable advance on previous attempts to map the deep peat resource of Wales and yields a significantly larger estimate than that based on the Soil Survey of England and Wales alone. This new map highlights the wide distribution of peatlands across much of Wales, with large areas of upland blanket bog in North east and North-central Wales (Migneint, Berwyn) and central Wales (Cambrian Mountains), as well as smaller areas of upland peat in and around the Brecon Beacons National Park. The new unified map also provides a much more detailed picture of the distribution of deep peat in the lowlands, many areas of which retain significant biodiversity interest.
The Glastir Monitoring & Evaluation Programme was set up by the Welsh Government in 2013 to monitor the effects of the Glastir agri-environment scheme on the environment and ran from 2013 to 2016.
The following datasets were combined to form a ‘unified’ peat map data set:
i) Areas mapped as peat in the British Geological Survey (BGS) superficial geology map (1:50 000)
ii) Soil mapping derived from the recent digital capture of Forestry Commission (FC) Wales paper survey records by the FC Mapping and Geodata Unit, with soil codes 8a to 14w inclusive being taken as indicative of peats > 45 cm thickness
iii) The boundary of deep (>0.5 m) peat determined during the ground based survey of lowland peatland sites included in the Countryside Commission for Wales (CCW)/Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Lowland Peatland Survey of Wales programme
iv) Habitat polygons indicative of deep (=/>0.5 m) peat presence (i.e. all E class with the exception of E2) sourced from the CCW/NRW Habitat Survey of Wales (Phase I) (Blackstock et al., 2010).
These data sets provide information on the distribution of peat at least 45 cm thick. The individual layers were joined sequentially using the UNION function in ArcMap Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software (ESRI) to create a final multipart polygon shapefile.
This dataset is included in the following collections