The importance of peatlands comes from the remarkable services they provide to society, which includes wildlife habitat, global carbon store, drinking water filtration, flood prevention, historical archive, grazing land and recreational areas.
"Peatlands are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth and a stark example of how important our natural environment is to our wellbeing. Occupying just 3% of the Earth’s land surface, peatlands are our largest carbon store on land. They are places where people derive clean water and food, and can act as buffers for environmental disasters, such as flooding. They are also of global significance for biodiversity with the majority of peatland species and habitats rare, threatened or declining."
Inger Anderson, Director of the IUCN
Appreciation of the wide ranging impacts and benefits of peatlands is relatively recent and as a consequence the majority have been historically managed in a way that has left them in a damaged state, with an estimated 80% of UK peatlands in some way affected.