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Hickling Broad

Aerial picture of construction work at Hickling Broad

Hickling Broad is the largest Broad in the Broads Network. The Broads are a series of shallow lakes linked by a network of rivers, largely formed by the flooding of peat cutting areas in medieval times. It has an area of 600ha, but for most of its area is less than a meter deep.

Like many areas in the Broads, erosion has led to large amounts of sludgy sediment gathering at the bottom of the broad, acting as a barrier to navigation. Through the CANAPE project the Broads Authority  removed this sludge from the lake and the surrounding waterways. This was used to construct a new 1ha area of reedbed in Chara Bay. Work began in the autumn 2018 and was completed in the autumn 2022. This supported a long term vision to improve Hickling Broad for recreational use and for wildlife. For more information about work at Hickling, see our video chat setting out what we have done and why here. 

Carbon saved: 11 tons per year, equivalent to driving a new car 95 thousand kilometres. 


Aerial photograph of the Horsey Wetland Farm. It has five polders filled with water, next to a water channel running through the landscape. The water in the channel is brown. In the background the sea stretches out to the Horizon.


Horsey Paludiculture Farm

The Horsey Paludicutlure trial is in the North of the Broads, near the Horsey Mere (lake) nature reserve. The field sits adjacent to the Waxham Cut, into which water from the surrounding drainage area is pumped. This water has high levels of ochre pollution, which degrades the quality of the Mere.

The CANAPE trial takes water from the cut and feeds it through 5 polders, growing a mixture of reed and typha. The aim is to demonstrate that a formerly drained grazing marsh can be used to grow productive crops once rewetted, and also to show that farming these crops can clean otherwise polluted water. This will support the sale of additional ecosystem services such as Blue Credits.

Construction took place in 2021, and the site will continue to be maintained and monitored as the crops establish.

For more information on what we have done here, see the video chat here.

Carbon Saved: 60 tonnes per year - equivalent to driving a new car half a million kilometres, or the CO2 stored each year by 29 football pitches of forest
Water Stored: 450 cubic metres


De Nol - Grenspark


Literally meaning "border park" the Grenspark is a a park that straddles the Belgian-Dutch border, not far from Antwerp. Within the park lies the old peat area "De Nol" where in the past peat was cut and transported by canal to the nearby towns.

In 2022 the water level was raised to restore the 60ha of former peat bog, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and kickstarting the rival biodiversity. The restored De Nol sits amongst a mosaic of rare habitats, including an extremely rare inland dune system.

The water level was raised by installing an impermeable foil screen across the lower end of the area, preventing water from escaping. At the same time drainage ditches were filled in – these were originally cut to harvest the peat from the land.

To learn more about what we have done and why, see our video here.

Carbon saved - 180 tons per year - equivalent to driving an average new car 1.5 million kilometres, or the amount stored annually by 87 football pitches worth of forest. 

Water Stored - 100,000m3 - enough to fill 35 Olympic swimming pools or fill 200 million coke bottles.




Located in the Northern Netherlands and with an area of over 2,000ha, Zuidlaardermeer is a beautiful place, with long banks of reed hosting thousands of birds, including a White Tailed Eagle. Water management of the lake is the responsibility of CANAPE partner Waterschap Hunze en Aa's.

Through CANAPE we modelled the relationship between current nutrient inputs and the water quality in the lake, and seeking to enhance the water quality we created an extra 20ha of reedbed along its banks. Work was also carried out with land owners in the local area to develop a "peatland vision" for a longer term sustainable use of the catchment around Zuidlaardermeer, improving the overall health of the local ecosystems.

Carbon Saved - 88 tons per year - equivalent to driving a new car 3/4 of a million kilometres, or the amount stored annually by 42 football pitches of forest. 

Water Stored - 70,000m3 - Enough to fill 28 Olympic swimming pools or fill 140 million coke bottles

De Leijen


Lake De Leijen sits on the Opeinder Canal in Friesland. Created by peat extraction, the lake is now an important site for nature and recreation.

Through CANAPE, Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences has carried out an extensive study of the lake and its fish population. This improved understanding of spatial water quality and fish behaviour. This will support future restoration efforts.

To study the fish behaviour in the lake, VHL installed a network of “recievers” on wooden poles across the lake, and attached trackers to a number of fish. The movement of the fish was then tracked as they moved around the lake.

At the same time, spatial water quality data was gathered from a small boat, gathering data and linking this to GPS locations.

From this, estimations were made of the impact of fish movements on the water quality. This can then be used to supported targeted interventions in the restoration of lakes, such as places to start macrophyte regeneration.

A video summary of the project is available here, or the conference presentation on this aspect of the project is available here.


Water quality mapping at De Leijan. 


Holter Meer


Lake Holter Meer lies within the District of Diepholz, Lower Saxony, and has been a nature reserve since 1942. Its water quality has degraded due to the intensive agriculture in its surroundings. Through CANAPE work was done to better understand the lake, including how water from the surrounding area enters the lake, and how this impacts on its water quality. Collaborating with Dutch expertise, we have used the PC lake model to understand how best to improve the water quality and support the local water board to improve its water quality. During the first year of study in 2018, it was established that the lake is entirely fed by the surface water in the area, with no other source of water. This year of study also highlighted the problem of extreme weather events, with a drop in the water level of over a metre during the hot and dry summer of 2018. This work will inform the restoration works planned by the Local Water Body in the early 2020s, and is supported (outside the project) by SNLD's purchase of the surrounding land. 

Barver Moor

Drone picture of our site at Barver Moor. In the foreground is a square polder with water at or slightly above surface level, with green vegetation growing over it. Beyond this is a line of silver birch trees, and beyond the trees are fields with pools of water forming in them.

The CANAPE Paludiculture Farm at Barver Moor, with a wider rewetting project in the background. 

Located within the nature reserve of Mittleres Wietingsmoor in Diepholz District, Barver Moor will is our test beds Sphagnum Moss Farming on the Dark peats of the district.

The site underwent a hydrological and soil survey as part of CANAPE preperations, establishing that before our work began it has a layer of peat between 20cm and 160cm. Compared this recent survey, a peatmap of the site from 1997 shows that there has been subsidence of 30-50cm on the site. This suggests a rate of 1.5-2.5cm per year, and release of a substantial amount of CO2 during this period.

Now the polder is constructed and the water level raised on our Sphagnum Farm, we hope to have reversed this process, and to have begun accumulating peat agian. 

There are two objectives for the site, firstly to halt further degradation of the peat soil on the site, and prevent further subsidence. With only 20cm of peat on parts of the site if fully drained and used for normal agriculture there would be a potential for this to degrade to nothing within a decade, severely reducing the economic value of the area to agriculture.

Secondly by spreading and harvesting sphagnum moss we can create an economic use for the land that will be sustainable into the future.

After the close of CANAPE in 2023, management of the site has passed to the 10 year MOOSland Project.

For more information on this site, see our news article here and our video chat here

Carbon Saved - 80t per year - equivalent to driving an average new car 700 thousand kilometres or sequestered each year by 40 football pitches worth of forest

Water Stored - 12,500m3 - Enough to fill 5 Olympic swimming pools or 27 million coke bottles


Store Vildmose

Low angle drone picture, showing a tractor towing machinery across a bare peat field. In the background are two other partially rewetted polders.

Site works at the Paludiculture farm on Store Vildmose 

Store Vildmose is the remains of a large raised bog on northern Jutland. The former bog is divided into a natural area, grass fields, potato farms and peat cutting areas. It is famous for the "Vildmose Potato," a high-quality potato grown in the peat. However, subsidence from drainage, and the high CO2 emissions from the area mean that a more sustainable future is needed.

In order to design a sustainable future for this area the Danish Nature Agency (Naturstyelsen) is working with the local community to design a vision for the future of this area, and has constructed a Paludiculture pilots in the area. This Paludiculture pilots aim to offer alternatives allowing land to be used to both generate an income for the landowner whilst raising the water levels to prevent degradation of the soil. For the long term work in restoring the area, it is foreseen that Paludiculture style land management will be needed to remove nutrients from the soil before a natural bog could be created. 

For more information about this paludiculture farm, visit our page here. 

Carbon saved - 71t per year - equivalent to driving an average new car over half a million kilometres or the amount sequestered each year by 34 football pitches worth of forest. 

Water Stored - 3,000m3 - enough to fill 6 million coke bottles 

Lille Vildmose


Lille Vildmose is a beautiful stretch of wildmoor in Eastern Denmark, including the larges stretch of intact raised bog in Western Europe. Like all the sites in our projectparts of it are somewhat degraded and we are aiming to reverse this process through rewetting and bog restoration. The CANAPE project trialled restoration methods to inform this process in the future.

The first works, which began in the summer of 2018, was to remove the topsoil. This may seem counter intuitive given we want to stop peat removal, however it is a necessary step in peat-land restoration.

This was done because the upper layer of soil is contaminated by nitrogen following use as agricultural land. This inhibits the growth of sphagnum moss, which prefers a nutrient poor environment, and would encourage the growth of plants that we do not want to see establish themselves on the restored bog. Further, raising the water level without removing the topsoil has been shown to result in a short term 'spike' in methane emissions. 

It was also hoped that this would make it easier to rewet the site, without needing to raise the water level as far, something that would be challenging with the surrounding roads


Start of works at Lille Vildmose

Following the removal of topsoil from the site in August 2018, donor material was added to the site in January 2019, to encourage plant growth to return it to a natural state. For more information on the spreading process, see our news story here.  The second hectare of the site was worked on in the summer of 2019, and is now developing towards a natural bog. 

Overall this method showed that a natural bog could be produced, but greater than expected required topsoil removal was problematic from a carbon sequestration point of view.


1. Average new European Car emits 116g of CO2 per km - or 1t every 8,500km. Source< https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/daviz/average-emissions-for-new-cars-4#tab-chart_1>

2. Approximately 0.5t of CO2 is sequestered by 1ha of Forest. 1 football pitch is approximately 1ha. Source Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator - Calculations and References | US EPA

3. Coke bottle used for comparisons - 500ml

4. An Olympic swimming pool holds 2,500m3 of water, or 2,5000,000l.