Dumfries and Galloway Council has refused a planning application to extract more peat from Lochwood Moss, near Moffat in Scotland. This decision is likely to be beneficial for wild reptiles, which often suffer from the loss of lowland bog habitat when peat is extracted. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) objected to the application and NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) also recommended against approval.
This appears to be the first instance where SEPA has objected to a time extension application for peat extraction on climate change grounds, so it may set an important precedent. SEPA, NatureScot and the local council all cited incompatibility with climate change policies as a reason for not supporting the application. Peat is an important store of carbon and its removal, disturbance or burning contributes to global warming. In this case, the peat was destined for use in horticulture (most garden centres now offer peat-free compost as an alternative).