Degraded raised bogs (which may still be capable of natural regeneration)
Raised bogs the hydrology of which has been negatively impacted upon or which have partly been extracted and which may still be capable of regeneration. Stages of degeneration which are characterized by colonization with Molinia and dwarf shrub vegetation, e.g. Erica tetralix in the Atlantic zone. Stages resulting from extreme peat cutting or extensive cut areas characterized by colonization with nitrophilous perennial vegetation are excluded. Plant species typical of raised bogs should still represent a considerable part of the vegetation. Capable of regeneration is taken to mean that it is judged that the hydrology of the bog can be restored, and renewed natural peat formation can be expected within 30 years. Agriculturally improved areas under grassland or tillage are excluded.
Notes on habitat mapping
The essential precondition for identification as a degraded raised bog is the presence of raised bog cores which display clear signs of degeneration but which still contain the typical Sphagnum-dominated raised bog vegetation at least in parts. Apart from damaged primary raised bog cores, peat-formation in silted-up hand-cut banks or on hand-cut sites may be taken to represent secondary cores. Sphagnum vegetation alongside drainage ditches is not to be taken as a core. A massive invasion by plant species which indicate a clear change of trophic conditions from the oligo-dystrophic conditions typical of raised bogs towards mesotrophic to eutrophic conditions is to be taken as an indicator of irreversible damage to the raised bog. Bogs which have suffered serious damage to their hydrological regime including the subsequent mineralization of the peat and an increase in the trophic status are to be taken as not being capable of regeneration and should therefore be excluded.
Therefore large-scale peat extraction sites (machine cutting) and drained sites as well as large-scale hand-cut sites are excluded.
The need to notify this habitat type, combined with the corresponding obligations in terms of regeneration efforts, is particularly important in physiographic regions in which intact raised bogs have been completely destroyed or have largely vanished, or where extensive areas of raised bog capable of regeneration are still available.