TransTech - Environmental Consultants - Peat Slide Risk Assessment Scotland
TransTech - Environmental Consultants - Peat Slide Risk Assessment Scotland

Peat Slide Risk Assessment

We are one of a very few Scottish based consultancies offering Peat Slide Risk Assessment services to wind farm and hydroelectric scheme developers.


The importance of assessing the stability and the risks associated with peat deposits in relation to wind farm development came to the fore as a result of peat failures during the construction of the Derrybrien Wind Farm in Ireland in 2003. Although no fatalities were associated with these peat slides there was a significant environmental impact. As wind farms tend to be constructed in high moorland areas which are commonly associated with significant peat deposits (typically peat blanket bogs) there is a potential for peat instability to occur, particularly where deposits are in excess of 1m deep.


There is substantial evidence from all over the world and from as far back as the Middle Ages in the literature which shows that peat bogs and blanket peat in particular can undergo collapse. Substantial areas of blanket peat can slide down hillsides, either as a single slab or as a liquefied mass. This is a natural occurrence which is influenced by many factors including, but not limited to, peat thickness, hill slope gradient and subsurface hydrology.


The Scottish Government requires a peat slide risk assessment/hazard analysis at all wind farm sites located over peat blanket bog.


TransTech carries out peat slide risk assessments for any scale of development. These comply with Scottish Government Best Practice criteria (Peat Landslide Hazard and Risk Assessments (available here) and the Best Practice Guide for Proposed Electricity Generation Developments and Developments on Peatland: Site Surveys Guidance Note (available here)).


The risk assessment involves:

  • A desktop review to determine likelihood of peat instability based on peat presence, hydrology, topography and geology. This work also aids in setting out where the site survey work should be carried out.
  • A site survey to carry out peat depth coring (to include peat composition. moisture content, etc.) and shear testing at appropriate intervals across the site. Further work is carried out to assess slope gradient, hydrology, geology and any other factors (e.g. if forestry is present the effect of this on evapotranspiration, the forestry drainage ditches on surface water hydraulics, etc.) that may affect the risk of peat slide.
  • Preparation of a peat slide risk assessment as a chapter for the Environmental Statement or as a standalone report, as required.


Please note that our peat slide risk assessment services are limited to Scotland and we cover the whole of Scotland from Argyll, Lochaber, Ardnamurchan and the rest of Highland down to Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. We can also carry out assessments on any of the Scottish islands.


For more information on our peat slide risk assessment services please call the office on 01631 720699, or if you would like to request a fee quote for your project contact us by email at

TransTech Ltd   Caerthann House   Connel   Oban   Argyll

PA37 1PQ   Scotland   United Kingdom

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