CANAPE: Endings and beginnings

Since 2017 when CANAPE was approved, global awareness of the importance of peatlands climbed significantly. Serious droughts, floods and wildfire throughout the Programme Area have shown the risks we carry if we do not restore our peatlands. National governments increasingly recognise that action on peatlands is needed to meet the Paris Climate Treaty targets.

A project is designed to be a temporary thing, that delivers a change. This has been a running theme in planning the CANAPE delivery, ensuring that a lasting change is made in the way that peatlands are managed.

The CANAPE project was approved in 2017, and since then has delivered;

  • 7 Pilot sites, with 3 Paludiculture Trial sites and 4 restoration projects

  • 3 year study into interactions between water quality and fish behaviour, to inform future restoration efforts

  • Trials in growing Sphagnum, Cattail, Reed, and Wetland grasses as commercial crops

  • Trials in producing products from conservation waste, including charcoal and compost.

The outcomes of the project were showcased through the “Sustainable Peatlands: A win for all” conference in 2021.


Aerial photograph of the Barver Moor Sphagnum Farm

Above: The Barver Moor paludiculture trial site. 

All the partners have developed new skills and knowledge through the project, and this is shown in the range of projects that they are moving onto. Unfortunately, the CANAPE partnership in its current iteration has been unable to continue, although we will keep in contact and keep working together. Our future partner’s projects include (but are very much not limited to);


  • Interreg Blue Transition – this project aims to achieved a systematic change through integrated water and soil management, with 16 pilot sites. Our partner Waterschap Hunze en Aas will bring their learning on paludiculture to this project.

  • Broads Peat Partnership – Following on from the work CANAPE has done in understanding the Broads Peatlands, and building the Horsey Pilot site, the Broads Authority is working with local partners to realise wider benefits building on the knowledge gained in CANAPE.

  • MOOSland project – Building on the success of the Barver Moor trial, the German CANAPE partners have received funding through the FNR National Programme to continue the maintenance of the demonstration site, and push on towards large scale paludiculture trials in Lower Saxony.

  • Store Vildmose – Naturstyrelsen and its local partners have developed ambitious plans for the Store Vildmose area, with significant rewetting to come as part of the national Climate Change Programme. Additionally the data from the grass trials at the Store Vildmose Paludiculture Pilot will be used in the GO GRASS project.


In addition to the work that partners are doing, and the ongoing support with the Peatland Policy Guide and Sustainable Farming Handbook, our partners have contributed to the development of the European Peatland Initiative concept. If this develops further it could help wider European Collaboration on peatlands.

Although the project is now closed, the project manager Harry Mach remains contactable at , where he is continuing to work on climate initiatives.