Restoration of peat area Witte Veen  



Natura 2000 area Witte Veen is a cross border area, located south of the Dutch city of Enschede. The main threats to the raised bog arise from activities that drain water from the peat, thus resulting in drying out. This causes an increased rate of decay in the raised bog and its surroundings which has an impact on the amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into the atmosphere. By restoring the hydrological system of the Witte Veen it is possible to sequestrate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by increasing and reinstating peat growth and the reduction of peat decay. 



The restoration works in the Witte Veen, an area owned by Natuurmonumenten, aim at limiting the summer drawdown of the water tables. By taking the measures described below the peat is kept wet, especially during dry summers and two main improvements are established:  

  • Peat decay is reduced  
  • Peat growth – both vertical and lateral – and the development of hummocks are stimulated  

Both will contribute to less GHG emissions and more sequestration. Especially the development of hummock forming Sphagnum species is important since these species are able to decompose CH4 into CO2. This may lead to the desired net sink of GHG.  

This project on mitigation of climate effects with hydrological measures in a peat area will also focus on biodiversity N2000 goals, especially focuses on reducing the effect of high nitrogen levels.  



The following actions are planned:

  • Remove/fill up and redevelop (small) drainage canals to decrease drainage.  
  • Replace and remove weirs and restore a dam to improve the hydrological situation. 
  • Removal of forestry/trees and scrubs.  


Visit here the project website in dutch language.


Arnoud Popping

Project Coordinator

Arnoud Popping