The Meschera National Park comprises unique peatland massifs covering over 23,000 ha. Some 8,000 ha of these are intact natural peatlands. Large peatland areas were affected by drainage, agriculture, peat extraction, and fires. Commercial peat production in what is now the national park began in early years of the 20th century. By the time the park was established, about 60% of the peatlands (some 15,000 ha) were drained. Currently, 5727 ha of the disturbed peatland complexes have been restored. A 500-ha section of the Orlovskoye-Kurlovskoye peat mining site was chosen for the implementation of a pilot rewetting project.