Defra cash injection to fund English peat bog restoration

The government has announced £10m worth of grants to restore England’s peat bogs as part of its 25-year Environment Plan.

Funding has been split across four regional projects and will cover 6,580ha – the equivalent surface area of 46 Hyde Parks.

See also: Delays threaten Countryside Productivity Scheme funding

Defra estimates the initiative will help to store an estimated 23,000t of carbon (84,410t carbon dioxide) each year, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Current government targets for UK carbon reduction for the 2018-22 budget are set at 693m tonnes of carbon (2,544m tonnes carbon dioxide).

The four projects

The North of England Peat Partnership

  • Led by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust 
  • Will restore 394 ha of lowland raised bog and 1,679ha of blanket bog
  • Will affect 21 sites across northern England

The South West Peatlands Bid

  • Led by South West Water
  • Will focus on 1,680ha of upland peat across Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor

Meres & Mosses Carbon Capture Project

  • Led by Shropshire Wildlife Trust
  • Will restore a mix of nine lowland and upland peatland sites covering 98ha 
  • Will focus on the Meres & Mosses Natural Area

Moor Carbon

  • Led by the Peak District National Park Authority
  • Will be working in the Peak District National Park, West Pennine Moors SSSI, and Rossendale Gap to restore more than 2,000ha of blanket bog

“Peatlands are an iconic aspect of the English landscape which are not only a haven for wildlife, but also provide us with clean water and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said environment minister Thérèse Coffey.

“The 25-year environment plan sets out the government’s commitment to improve peatlands, and grant schemes such as this one will enable us to leave our environment better than we inherited it,” she added.