The research team includes Ewan Jenkins (Research Assistant), Drs Cornelia Helmcke and Lydia Cole (Principle Investigators), with Shona Russell, Milinda Banerjee (from the University of St Andrews) and Dr Bobby Macaulay (Chair of the ‘Land and Communities’ knowledge exchange group at the University of the Highlands and Islands) acting as Co-Investigators. Each member made valuable contributions to the development of ideas and outputs, and to connecting this work with other projects and networks across Scotland and beyond. Most importantly the Community Landownership Academic Network (CLAN), coordinated by Bobby Macaulay and which works to enable just futures for communities across Scotland, helped promote a more ethical and coordinated approach to this research.


Ewan Jenkins


Ewan was the lead researcher of the project, conducting the field work and policy review. A driving interest in land reform, community ownership and environmental stewardship attracted him to the research. Observing the potential of crofting and small-holdings for producing food, restoring ecosystems and repopulating rural areas, the Guide was inspired by how overlooked crofting has been so far in restoration plans and offsetting schemes. He is currently pursuing a PhD in land occupation and communal reproduction at the University of St Andrews.

Dr Lydia Cole

Project co-lead

Lydia is the co-lead of the project from which this Guide evolved. Lydia has been researching the ecology and responsible management of peatlands for over 15 years, working with communities from southwest England to Scotland, and Malaysian Borneo to the lowland Amazon of Peru. This project has shown her what the similarities are across all of these peaty landscapes, and how people living in and around them could be better supported to continue benefitting from these waterlogged ecosystems. Further information about Lydia’s research can be found here.

Dr Cornelia Helmcke

Project co-lead

Cornelia is the other co-lead of the project from which this Guide evolved. Cornelia’s research has focused on environmental conflicts and how they relate to power imbalances in decision-making. Having studied land and recourse struggles in rural Colombia, Cornelia got inspired by community-led initiatives to defend landscapes and environments. This project taught her of the diverse relationships between culture and nature as well as of their contentious entanglement in national net-zero ambitions. Further information about Cornelia’s research can be found here.


This community guide is the outcome of field-based research conducted in the communities of Carloway, Arnol and Ranish in the Isle of Lewis, Western Isles of Scotland, from February to March 2023. We are grateful to all of the individuals involved in this research, for the time and energy they spent answering questions and showing us around the landscape. We appreciate that our research findings represent the opinions of a sample of the aforementioned communities, shared during a particular period in time. During this time the need for information that explores and explains the implications of peatland restoration for crofting communities, particularly around financing peatland restoration and the role of carbon markets, was identified. With help from various kind contributors and reviewers, we have developed a series of resources, published on this website, to act as a ‘guide’ principally for crofting communities navigating peatland restoration in rural Scotland. We hope the guide will serve as a benchmark resource for crofters, landowners and public bodies to assist in community governance and decision-making around peatland restoration. The questions within the FAQs have been identified through our research, as being the most important to ask when it comes to community deliberation on whether to undertake a peatland restoration project.

The content of the guide is assembled to the best of the authors’ knowledge at the time of publication, October 2023. The Guide is subject to updates as the financial and policy environment associated with the delivery of peatland restoration changes. Please use our contact form to leave your email address if you would like to be alerted to any updates or changes made to the guide, or would like to suggest any amendments. Alternatively, you can email us at [email protected]. We welcome your feedback.

Funding: The development of this guide has been possible through a grant awarded by the St Andrews Interdisciplinary Research Support fund, administered by the University of St Andrews.

Project timeline: September 2022 – August 2023

Tha an iùl coimhearsnachd seo mar bhuil air an rannsachadh coimhearsnachd a chaidh a choileanadh ann an coimhearsnachdan Chàrlabhaigh, Àrnoil agus Rànais ann an Eilean Leòdhais ann an Eileanan an Iar na h-Alba, bhon Ghearran gu am Màrt 2023.  Rè an ama sin, chaidh an fheum a chomharrachadh air fiosrachadh a tha a’ sgrùdadh agus a’ mìneachadh buaidhean do choimhearsnachdan croitearachd an lùib ath-leasachadh talamh mòintich, gu h-àraid mu thimcheall maoineachadh air ath-leasachadh talamh mòintich agus àite nam margaidean càrboin. Le cuideachadh bho dhiofar cho-thabhairtichean is ath-sgrùdairean coibhneil, tha sinn air sreath de ghoireasan a leasachadh a tha foillsichte air an làraich-lìn seo, gus a bhith cleachdte mar ‘iùl’ sa chiad àite do choimhearsnachdan croitearachd a tha a’ dèiligeadh ri ath-leasachadh talamh mòintich ann an sgìrean dùthchail Alba. Tha sinn an dòchas gum bi an iùl a’ frithealadh mar ghoireas is slat-tomhais do chroitearan, uachdarain agus buidhnean poblach gus cuideachadh le riaghladh is co-dhùnaidhean coimhearsnachd mu thimcheall ath-leasachadh talamh mòintich. Tha na ceistean anns na FAQan air an comharrachadh mar a bhith as cudromaiche am faighneachd nuair a thig e gu beachdachadh coimhearsnachd air am bu chòir pròiseact ath-leasachaidh talamh mòintich a ghabhail os làimh.

Tha an t-susbaint san ìùl air a chur ri chèile a rèir mar as fheàrr fios aig an ùghdar aig àm foillseachaidh san Dàmhair 2023. Tha an Iùl buailteach do ath-ùrachadh fiosrachaidh mar a bhios àrainneachd ionmhasail is poileasaidh co-cheangailte ri lìbhrigeadh air ath-leasachadh talamh mòintich, ag atharrachadh. Feuch gun cleachd sibh am foirm conaltraidh agus fàgaibh ur seòladh puist-d nam bu mhath leibh ùr-fhiosrachadh no atharrachaidhean san iùl fhaotainn, no nam bu mhath leibh atharrachaidhean sam bith a mholadh. No, faodaidh sibh post-d a chur thugainn air [email protected].  Tha sinn a’ cur fàilte air fiosrachadh air ais bhuaibh.

Maoineachadh: Tha leasachadh air an iùl air a dhèanamh comasach tro thabhartas air a bhuileachadh le maoin Taic Rannsachaidh Eadar-chuspaireil Chill Rìmhinn air a riarachadh le Oilthigh Chill Rìmhinn.

Raon-ama a’ Phròiseict: Sultain 2022 – Lùnastal 2023


Whilst every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, this guide relies on the accuracy of the underlying data, referenced throughout. The information compiled is based on the outcome of research, and a review of policy and legislation, but does not constitute legal advice. The University of St Andrews and the researchers who have produced this guide are not responsible for any loss or damage caused by relying on the content contained in this guide.

Any errors of fact contained in the guide are solely the responsibility of the authors. If you notice any errors or have comments on the guide, please contact us: [email protected].

Ged a tha gach oidhirp dèante gus fiosrachadh mionaideach is earbsach a sholarachadh, tha an iùl seo an eisimeil mionaideachd an dàta air a chùlaibh, air a bheil iomradh troimhe. Tha am fiosrachadh a chuireadh ri chèile, stèidhichte air buil an rannsachaidh, poileasaidh agus ath-sgrùdadh reachdais,  ach chan eil e a’ dèanamh suas comhairle laghail. Chan eil Oilthigh Chill Rìmhinn agus an luchd-rannsachaidh a thug an iùl seo gu buil, cunntachail airson call no damaist air adhbhrachadh le bhith a’ cur earbsa san t-susbaint a tha san iùl seo.

Tha mearachdan san fhiosrachadh a tha sa phàipear seo gu tur mar uallach air na h-ùghdaran. Ma chì sibh mearachdan sam bith no ma tha beachdan agaibh mun iùl, cuiribh fios thugainn: [email protected].


Many thanks to the crofting communities in Càrlabhagh (Carloway), Ranais (Ranish), and Àrnol (Arnol) in the Isle of Lewis for their hospitality and participation in our research on peatland restoration. A special thanks to Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh (Carloway Estate Trust) for responding to our many emails and questions during the busy period of renovating the old school into what is now the bustling community shop and office of the Trust. Thank you to Peatland ACTION officer, Ben-Inglis Grant, for sharing his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for peatland ecosystems and their restoration, for the tours around the bog, and for showing us the restoration process so thoroughly.

We extend thanks to the Calanais Standing Stones & Visitor Centre and to Marianne, Thomas and Caroline, who not only showed us a warm welcome to the islands, but also promoted and hosted our presentation, “Peatland Restoration: A Guide for Communities”, on June 26th 2023, which was a formative moment for the research and an evening of great connections and discussions. The same thanks go to Tina and the staff at Grinneabhat run by Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair agus Àrnoil (UCBA), the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust, who hosted a subsequent presentation and showed wonderful hospitality throughout our stay in North Bragar.

Thank you to Community Land Outer Hebrides, the Blackhouse, Arnol, the Outer Hebrides Heritage Forum and the Blue Pig Studio Gallery for their advice, recommendations and kindness.

Thank you to Beathag Mhoireasdan for her fantastic translation of the Guide’s material.

Mòran taing do choimhearsnachdan croitearachd Chàrlabhaigh, Rànais agus Àrnoil ann an Eilean Leòdhais airson an cuid aoigheachd agus com-pàirt nar rannsachadh air ath-leasachadh talamh mòintich. Taing shònraichte do dh’Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh airson am freagairtean do ar mòran puist-d agus ceistean aig àm dripeil an lùib ath-ùrachadh air togalach na seann sgoile gu an ìre aig a bheil i a-nis, a’ frithealadh mar bhùth coimhearsnachd ghnìomhach agus mar oifis don Urras. Taing do dh’oifigear GNÌOMH Mòintich, Ben-Inglis Grannd, airson a chuid eòlais fharsaing agus a dhìoghras a dh’ionnsaigh eag-shiostaman talamh mòintich agus an ath-leasachadh a roinn leinn, airson nan cuairtean timcheall a’ bhoglaich agus am pròiseas ath-leasachaidh a thaisbeanadh dhuinn ann an dòigh cho mionaideach.

Tha sinn a’ cur taing gu Ionad Luchd-tadhail is Thursaichean Chalanais agus gu Marianne, Tòmas agus Caroline, a chuir chan e a-mhàin fàilte cho blàth oirnn gu na h-eileanan ach cuideachd a dh’adhartaich agus a thug aoigheachd do ar taisbeanadh “Ath-leasachadh Mòintich: Iùl do Choimhearsnachdan” air an 26mh Ògmhios 2023, a bha na mhòmaid leasachail don rannsachadh agus na fheasgar de choluadar is deasbadan mìorbhaileach. Tha an taing cheudna a’ dol gu Tina agus an sgioba-obrach ann an Grinneabhat a tha air a ruith le Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair agus Àrnoil (UCBA), a thug aoigheachd do thaisbeanadh eile às dèidh sin agus a nochd aoigheachd gun chrìch fad ar turais ann am Bràdhagair a Tuath.

Taing do Fhearann Coimhearsnachd Innse Gall, an Taigh-dubh ann an Àrnoil, Fòram Dualchais Innse Gall agus Gailearaidh Stiuidio Blue Pig airson an comhairle, molaidhean agus an coibhneis.

Taing dha Beathag Mhoireasdan airson a h-eadar-theangachadh ealanta air an t-susbaint san Iùl.