Thousands of hectares of vital peatland to be restored to help tackle climate change and protect biodiversity - Defra and Natural England

Over £16 million to be awarded through the first round of Natural England’s Peat Restoration Grants.

Thousands of hectares of vital peatland will be restored under ambitious proposals launched today (Friday 27 August) to help tackle climate change and protect biodiversity.

Five new landmark projects to restore England’s peatlands to a natural and healthy state will benefit from millions of pounds through the Government’s Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme.

The Government intends to invest over £50 million in peat restoration, building on its pledge to restore approximately 35,000 hectares of peatland in England by the end of this Parliament.

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 new projects mark a big step towards achieving our goal to reverse the decline of England’s peatlands and will contribute to the ambitious Nature Recovery Network.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: "Our peatlands are remarkable habitats which provide homes for many precious species and hold enormous amounts of carbon. By restoring 35,000 ha of damaged and degraded peatlands in England, 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be prevented from being released by 2050 which would make a significant contribution to combatting the devastating impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. The projects being awarded funding today will bring about much-needed peatland restoration across the country. We have committed to triple our historic average annual peat restoration figures and these landscape-scale projects will provide a great contribution to achieving this and accessing the wealth of benefits healthy peatlands offer."

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Posted On: 27/08/2021

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