Grant opens to fund new projects to scope and develop sites where peat can be restored
Today (Wednesday 7 July), Natural England has launched the first round of Discovery Grants, as part of the Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme, to help support the development of new projects which seek to restore peatland systems to a natural and healthy state across the country.
Through the Scheme, the Government intends to invest over £50 million in peat restoration and has pledged to restore approximately 35,000ha of peatland in England by the end of this Parliament. Accompanying the main Restoration Grants, the Discovery Grants are available for organisations to scope and develop sites for peatland restoration.
As England’s largest carbon store on land, peatlands play a vital role in trapping carbon, and also provide a wealth of wider benefits such as improved ecosystems and biodiversity, better water quality and natural flood management. However, only 13% of England’s peatlands are in a near natural state. These Discovery Grants provide applicants with the opportunity to receive financial support to develop ambitious restoration proposals, making a difference to England’s peatland habitats.
There will be two rounds of bidding, with applications for the first round of Discovery Grants opening today and closing on Wednesday 1st September.
Applications for the Discovery Grant funding may include:
Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “Our peatlands are remarkable habitats which provide homes for many precious species and peat holds enormous amounts of carbon. When peatlands are damaged or degraded it is estimated they release around 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, so preserving these vital habitats is hugely important in addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The launch of the Peatland Discovery Grant will empower organisations to create their own peat restoration projects. We have recently committed to triple our historic average annual peat restoration figures and this grant which we are launching today will be critical in enabling projects to reach a stage where they can apply for our restoration grants in future.”
Posted on: 07 July 2021