Achnasheen Peatland Restoration

All Highland Carbon projects are undertaken in a robust biodiversity and landscape conservation framework


Our uplands offer stunning landscapes for us all to enjoy.  Just as importantly, they also play a key role in our daily lives.  Most of our water supplies come from the uplands.  This site was particularly important as it held the main drinking water intake for the village of Achnasheen, Scotland.  One of our key aims, which we achieved, was to reduce the amount of sediment in the watercourse from the peat continuously eroding.


The project is comprised of vast matrix of restored peatland bogs located in a saddle shaped rise between two mountains.  Restoration held the key to both protecting what we have and also in giving nature a helping hand to repair the erosion damage across the whole site.  The extensive blanket bog found here forms part of a characteristic suite of habitats associated with hummock and hollow topography.  Some of the habitats that can be seen here include mire systems, bog pool communities and both dry and wet heath habitats on the fringes.  Many of the plants that can be easily spotted and include Cotton grasses, Bell heather, cross-leaved heath, bog asphodel, great sundew and a variety of sphagnums.


As well as a colourful landscape the site includes over 60 different birds, nearly 100 plants and 36 different species of Fungi.  Some of the most iconic species in Scotland have been spotted here including Pine marten, Otter, Mountain hare, Golden eagle and Dippers that thrive in and on the river that runs through the site.


The project is home to two Golden eagle nesting sites and a thriving herd of Red deer.  It is adjacent to a wilderness area which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  The project works within a robust biodiversity framework, a rare opportunity here in the UK, and within the established framework of the Peatland Code.

Per area of land, peatland is even more efficient than woodland when it comes to offsetting carbon.  These projects achieve four outcomes.  Firstly, by rewetting the landscape, the biodegradation of the peat itself is stopped,  thereby preventing the site from emitting carbon.  Secondly, the site accumulates biomass over time, laying it down in the peat.  As such, it becomes a carbon sink.  Thirdly, the restored site provides important habitat for highland species of birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.  Finally, a matrix of terraced peat areas comprised of sphagnum filters the water coming off the hill.  This then ensures very clean drinking water for the village of Achnasheen, without flashy runoff of silt, and helps to ensure a clean river for fish to thrive.  This project in particular achieved a fifth objective.  The efficiency of a renewable hydro-electric scheme has been increased by maximizing water flow (without wastage from flashy run-off) into the turbine.

The project offers much needed employment in one of the country’s remotest communities.  Here, seasonal work is vital for local crofters who operate the earth moving equipment which is used to create and maintain the matrix of dams and lochans.  These local workers are supported by the carbon proceeds whilst supervised by a Project Manager with expertise in ecology ad habitat restoration.

Highland Carbon provides ESG communications and public relations support to its partners.  There are amazing opportunities for staff engagement onsite as it relates to an explanation of the work planned, overview of conservation impacts and hands-on activities if desired.  Photos of your people onsite alongside your brand could be included in your ESG reporting and social media postings.  There is also the opportunity for inspirational drone footage, which you could use in your digital ESG reporting, staff communications, investor relations and publicity.

Please contact with the timing and quantity of your offset requirements to receive a pricing proposal and details of associated benefits.

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At a Glance: Wester Ross Peatland Restoration


On the edge of uninterrupted wilderness, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

Offsetting Capacity

88,000 TCO2e


A matrix of restored peatland and lochans comprising 341 Hectares


  • Pine marten, Golden eagle, Golden plover, otter, dipper, mountain hare and more

  • Adjacent to and enhancing a Site of Special Scientific Interest

Special Features

  • Feeding the watershed of the River Bran, Loch Fannich and Loch a Chroisg

  • The nation’s very first completed and validated Peatland Code project


Project Status

  • Work undertaken, 2020

  • Project passed inspection, 2020

  • Project validated, 2020

Sustainable Development Goals

  • Climate Action

  • Life on Land

  • Life Below Water

  • Partnerships for the Goals​

Recognised Offsetting Framework

Peatland Code

Recognised Offset Standards

Pending Issuance Units becoming Peatland Units