Peatland restoration demonstration day at Flanders Moss NNR, March 2014. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Restoring Scotland's Peatlands

More than 20% of Scotland is covered by peat – and keeping our peatlands healthy is vital to tackling climate change.

Scotland’s National Peatland Plan highlights the major contribution peatlands make to our landscapes, and cultural and natural heritage. Many of our iconic views are framed and coloured by peatlands, from the vast expanses associated with the north Highlands and Islands of the west of Scotland to the bogs and fens just a short distance from most of our towns and cities.

These areas add much more than dramatic scenery, they provide a special and unique habitat for wildlife and are an essential ingredient for farming, tourism and crofting.

More than 20% of Scotland is covered by peat and much of our drinking water filters through these peatland catchments making them crucial for clear drinking water. Peatlands also hold most of Scotland’s carbon store (they are estimated to hold the equivalent of 140 years’ worth of Scotland’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions), and so are vital in helping us to tackle climate change.

Healthy peatlands provide many benefits to us all – but not all of our peatlands are in good health. Since 2012, work carried out by PeatlandACTION has set more than 15,000ha of Scotland’s degraded peatlands on the road to recovery.

This good work is continuing thanks to additional Scottish Government funding of £8 million to spend in 2017/18 which will see another 8,000 hectares of damaged peatlands start their road to recovery - and eligible projects can apply for funding. We have knowledgeable and dedicated project officers who can help you with your application  - please email the PeatlandACTION team

PeatlandACTION also offers videos and posters that share our lessons learned from setting up and running practical peatland projects across Scotland.

We continue to offer advice on applications for the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), which has a £10 million funding stream devoted to peatland restoration. Management options available include upland, peatland, moorland and heath options.