Peatland Restoration

Restoring degraded areas towards healthy, functioning peatland ecosystems

Image: Badly eroding & collapsing gully, Marsden Moor, Peak District © Penny Anderson

Peatland Restoration

Whilst challenging, peatlands that are severely degraded can be stabilised through restoration intervention and placed on the road to recovery. There are a number of heavily degraded sites across the UK where action can be taken now whilst assessing and prioritising other opportunities.

The UK Peatland Strategy highlights the following objectives to restore heavily degraded areas towards functioning peatland ecosystems:

  • Restore peatland ecosystem function and enhance biodiversity through the restoration and ongoing sustainable management of upland and lowland peatlands that no longer support semi-natural vegetation but which have:

    • remaining deep peat resource including mineral workings, deep drained, improved grasslands and closed canopy forestry plantations
    • an adjacent semi-natural peatland site that depends on the degraded area coming under restoration management.
  • Safeguard restorable peatland areas from development and land management activity that would undermine restoration potential.
  • Optimise UK carbon efficiency by co-ordinating forest management, renewable energy development and peatland conservation through planning to ensure positive outcomes for all.

To achieve the following outcomes:

  • Majority (80%) of heavily degraded peatlands in the UK are under restoration management aimed at recovering long-term security of the ecosystem
  • Recognising that initial recovery halts losses but can begin to recover function across biodiversity and carbon sequestration:
    • Intervention to repair bare peat areas, former mineral workings and agricultural/afforested areas is underway to halt peat loss and re-establish peatland habitat where possible
    • Restoration work across the UK has been delivered as a result of both private and public finance.
  • Land use development plans identify safeguards for peatlands, policies for forestry and renewables identify safeguards for peatlands
  • Good practice restoration advice is available to support effective, efficient and sustainable peatland restoration.

The milestones to help monitor progress against these outcomes are:

2020 - Meet the IUCN UK Peatland Programme challenge: 1 million hectares of peatland in good condition, under restoration agreements and being sustainably managed.


2030 - Areas capable of restoration identified and given protection in development plans.


2040 - Sites identified as priorities have restoration plans agreed and suitable funding routes identified.

 

Examples of peatland restoration projects can be found on the Peatland Projects Map.

Case Studies demostrating peatland restoration success both globally and in the UK along with the Conserving Bogs: Management Handbook are available as publications from our Resources section. 
 

Dawn at Marches Mosses by Stephen Barlow
Marches Mosses marks 30-year milestone in fight against climate change An internationally important lowland raised peat bog between England and Wales celebrates its 30th…
Virtual Peatland Pavilion
Virtual Peatland Pavilion for COP26 UNFCCCWe are delighted to launch a new dome in the Virtual Peatland Pavilion for COP26 UNFCCC.
Peat-free Horticulture: Demonstrating Success
New report shows peat-free opportunity for horticulture industry'Peat-free Horticulture – Demonstrating Success' is now the third publication in the series and was…
Peatland Pavilion at COP26
Peatland Pavilion at UNFCCC COP26 - Online Registration openThe Peatland Pavilion at UNFCCC COP26 will highlight the importance of global peatlands for the…
A virtual tour will include peatland restoration research at SRUC's Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms.
Climate solutions from peatlands to parasitesAs world leaders arrive in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), scientific experts…
Figure 2
Research reveals a quarter of Europe’s peatlands are degraded, ahead of key climate and biodiversity summitsNew research finds that 25% of Europe’s peatlands are degraded, increasing to 50% -120,000km2- when…
MFFP image
Peak District study reveals depths of carbon stored in threatened landscapesWith the UN Climate Conference (COP26) being held in Glasgow in under one months’ time, a new study…
WaterLANDS logo
WaterLANDS: New European Green Deal project launched to lead largescale restoration of European wetlandsAn ambitious project has been launched to tackle largescale restoration of Europe’s wetlands, with…
A detail from the map indicating areas of the highest carbon potential (in red) derived from the peat motion map covering the period 2016-21.  Potential carbon savings and their market value per annum are indicated for the different areas highlighted.
Satellite Map Identifies Peatland Areas where Restoration has the Greatest Carbon ImpactPeatland organisations and experts from across the globe have joined together to pledge their…
Peatland Pavilion concept
Peatland Pavilion will feature at UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)The Peatland Pavilion will provide a hub for highlighting the important role that peatlands play…
Bord na mona
United Nations recognizes major Irish Peatland Restoration initiativeDianna Kopansky of the United Nations Environment Programme has recognised the initiative led by…
GPI logo
Open call! Your opportunity to participate as a Contributing Author for the GPI’s upcoming Global Peatlands AssessmentThe Global Peatlands Initiative are currently looking for Contributing Authors (CAs) to participate…