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Humble peatlands save the UK £millions

Date: 26 Sep 2018

The hugely important role our peatlands play in maintaining clean drinking water, reducing flood impact and storing carbon is worth £millions every year. This, along with other public benefits peatlands provide, will be highlighted at a conference at Loch Lomond from 2-4th October.

The conference will also explore the importance of restored and well maintained peatlands  for wildlife, the connections they have with our food and drink and their cultural, health and well-being values – as well as how we financially secure the provision of these benefits in future.

TheReprofiling on Beinn Dubh © Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park vital connection between people and peatlands is an issue of global concern and the United Kingdom stands among those peatland nations that are leading the way in safeguarding this important part of our natural environment – showcased in the recently released UK Peatland Strategy 2018 -2040. The conference will celebrate and share the tremendous work of land managers across the UK who have been repairing damaged peatlands and seeing the benefits even in the early stages of recovery.

The conference is being run in partnership with the Scottish Natural Heritage Peatland Action Project and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park; showcasing the peatland restoration work being undertaken to meet Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets.

Simon Jones, Director of Conservation and Visitor Operations at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said:

“The peatlands of the National Park store more than 20million tonnes of carbon helping to naturally fight both the causes and effects of climate change.  It is vital that we work together with land managers and partner organisations to protect and restore this important part of our natural environment.

“The IUCN Conference is a great opportunity to share ideas for future projects to further tackle the impacts of climate change, both within the National Park and across Scotland.”

Delegates from across the UK will gather for the IUCN UK Peatland Programme 2018 Conference – Peatland Connections: Building Prosperity to look back over the great progress being made for peatlands in the UK and internationally and provide inspiration for us all to make that bigger step forward.

Jonathan Hughes, Chair of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme and Chief Executive of Scottish Wildlife Trust, said:

“Peatlands are one of our great environmental challenges but one we can do something about. At a time of major policy review in the light of Brexit, our peatlands and the challenges they face need to be brought to the fore. The IUCN UK Peatland Programme and this conference provides a vital role in connecting land managers, academics and practitioners involved in peatland conservation. We look forward to welcoming delegates to Scotland, where there is much to showcase and celebrate.

“This year’s conference takes place against a background of increasing public awareness about the predicament of our peatlands. Investing in local, regional and national partnerships who are delivering peatland protection and restoration will not only save millions of pounds, it will help secure the future of our environment, economy and health.”