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The Flux Tower Project

South of Scotland joins the national network of Flux Towers, allowing measurements of greenhouse gases which provide necessary data for the journey to Net Zero.

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland: A 14 metre tower has been erected within a commercial forestry crop planted upon peatland. This flux tower, a first for the region, measures the upward and downward movement of air-parcels containing greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases have increased in our atmosphere due to human activity since the industrial revolution, causing the climate crisis. Understanding how Scotland’s land stores or releases these gases is key to reducing our annual carbon emissions.


This collaboration between The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, The Crichton Carbon Centre, Forestry and Land Scotland, The James Hutton Institute, and NatureScot PeatlandACTION - the main funder - will improve the understanding of the carbon balance of commercial forestry on areas of deep peat and will be critical in the Scottish Government’s ambition to reach Net Zero emissions by 2045.


The Flux Tower, a 14m metal scaffold tower, sits on an afforested peatland.

Peatlands are recognised as critical carbon stores and are the largest terrestrial store of carbon in the UK. Through good management and restoration, they form a key part of Scotland’s strategy to meet Net Zero emission targets. This flux tower, alongside others across Scotland, will help address the important gaps in our knowledge of greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands in different conditions. Globally, it will put Scotland at the forefront of understanding peatland restoration and the counter-play with forests on deep peat.

Emily Taylor, General Manager for lead partner Crichton Carbon Centre, says, “It's a really exciting project and the first of its kind in the South of Scotland. To be part of an international network of similar monitoring stations will hugely benefit our understanding of how emissions change when peatlands are under forestry and then subsequently restored and is a step forward in evidencing how we can reach our net zero ambitions.”

“This project has been many years in the making and we’re committed to taking on the management of the project and developing this exciting research partnership,” Emily continues. “We hope this tower and research partnership will provide further opportunities for researchers and projects in the South of Scotland.”

The tower was erected by Dulas, an award-winning renewable energy installer and consultancy. Locally, the project has been supported by Craig Williamson with fencing installation and Clark Scaffolding who will also be involved in monitoring the structure. Data from the flux tower’s instrumentation will be shared with the flux tower network across the UK and with key stakeholders in peatland restoration and forestry management. This project has also benefited from funding from South of Scotland Enterprise.

Dulas provided a health and safety induction to project partners.

Instrumentation is set up by The James Hutton Institute and Crichton Carbon Centre

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