Scoping Study: Proposed Training Opportunities in Peatland Management

Lucy Beattie, T. Hartley

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This scoping study commissioned by the IUCN Peatland Project UK aims to explore how peatland education is currently offered within the senior phase of High School in the Highlands of Scotland. Focusing on informants from a small, purposive sample the study centres on Ullapool High School. The study also examines current literature, existing qualifications and teaching resources within this context. Interest and demand within schools, colleges and industry is examined, with a view to developing a pilot framework for vocational education within the senior phase of High School at a National level.

The educational benefit of peatlands are currently under-explored. Though some examples of implementation and good practice exist there is potential for a more embedded approach which will enhance existing academic and vocational practice. Moreover, there appears to be a significant skills gap in terms for the greening of vocational training. This gap is evident within literature and reported findings from industry and conservation bodies which indicates that the greening of skills can support the green economy is growing exponentially within the UK and abroad.

Using peatland as a lens to enhance vocational educational opportunities could present a means to add to existing vocational awards and supports social, environmental and educational policy. In addition, there is scope to develop sustainable learning outcomes to support peatland education within, or alongside existing awards which could be implemented as part of a collaborative action research pilot. Peatlands are recognised as a vital landscape to support positive management techniques to combat climate change which aligns with current youth initiatives which campaign for sustainability.

Demand within schools and colleges indicates there is support to promote the peatland as a Learnscape which can achieve outcomes for academic, cultural and vocational learning. However, it is noted that barriers to delivery exist due to funding restrictions within rural areas which can arise from falling school rolls. Peatland is not supported in the core curriculum and there is a place for critical, partnership working between schools, further education colleges, communities, employers and conservation bodies to come together to enhance vocational learning through collaboration and the use of open education resources.

A vocational pilot project is recommended to work with partners within schools, colleges, third sector and industry to pilot and deliver vocational education in the context of peatland and develop further learning outcomes to formalise a peatland learning module in the future that can be used nationally.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherIUCN UK Peatland Programme
Commissioning bodyIUCN Peatland Project UK
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019


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