Sustainable Management

Applying land uses that are compatible with healthy peatlands.


Image © Clifton Bain

Sustainable Management

Conserving and rehabilitating peatlands, so that they function fully does not mean that these areas become off-limits to economic activity. Various options for site-adapted land use on wet and rewetted peatlands have been developed and tested, including farming, sporting and other recreation. This includes minimal intervention where no action is required to maintain peatland habitat.

Sustainable management across UK peatlands can be achieved through:

  • Demonstrating and communicating the benefits of healthy peatland landscapes and peatland restoration, and highlight the win-wins for wider society and specific land use activities
  • Involving local communities at an early stage and support communities in overcoming any dependencies on unsustainable peatland use
  • Developing economically viable systems for supporting peatland management:
    • Providing support for land managers who manage peatland sustainably, ensuring the right level of public funding to overcome any market failures 
    • Avoiding public money being directed into fiscal regimes that can result in peatland damage.

The above objectives aim to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Sustainable management practices adopted on 80% of UK peatlands
  • Healthy peatlands are delivering benefits for land managers and rural economies. Land managers are recognised for the wider services the healthy peatlands they manage deliver for society
  • Local communities are engaged at the earliest stage. Support is provided to help them to overcome their opportunity costs and dependence on unsustainable peatland use.

Milestones to monitor progress against these outcomes are:

2020 - Peatland carbon is incorporated into UK Greenhouse Gases inventory reporting and peatland management forms part of mitigation plans.
2030 - All peatlands under sustainable management, as indicted by the Committee on Climate Change.