Tackling climate change - Additional £11 million for peatland restoration

24 June 2019

The Scottish Government has committed significant funding to help repair and restore Scotland’s peatland areas, which store around 1600 million tonnes of carbon.

In light of the global climate emergency, an extra £11 million has been committed to fund projects to restore degraded peatlands, following an initial commitment of £3 million earlier this year.  

Restoration work includes improving areas of wetlands by reducing drainage and slowing water flow on peatland, as well as covering areas of peat exposed to the elements, helping to lock in carbon and reduce potentially harmful C02 emissions.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“The impact of peatland degradation on climate change cannot be overstated – particularly in Scotland, where around 25% of the country is covered in peat soil. If all of the C02 from that peatland were released then it would be the equivalent of more than 120 years of Scotland’s emissions being produced at once.

“Restoring peatland has an important part to play in delivering the Scottish Government’s climate change ambitions. By doing this we’re also providing an important habitat for plants and wildlife, improving water quality, and mitigating flood risk.”

Welcoming the funding, NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said:

“Peatlands in good health have many benefits for people and nature.

“Nature-based solutions - like the work Peatland Action is undertaking to restore and lock-in Scotland’s peatland carbon stores – are integral to solving the climate emergency we are all facing.

“As Scotland aims to move to a low carbon economy and meet its ambitious climate change agenda, it is important that we continue to build on the excellent work already completed.”

Peatland Action - Digger re-profiling bare peat hag.
Peat hag being reprofiled, here the steep edges of the bare overhang are reduced, and ‘borrowed’ vegetation mats from healthy samples on site are stretched over the re-profiled surface.
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©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the NatureScot Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot