"Peatlands are nature’s superstars. If we’re serious about carbon in UK we have to look after our peatlands first. We have to stop draining them immediately, and then begin restoring and managing them effectively.” — Dr Christian Dunn of Bangor University and lead author of the Peatlands chapter.
The report offers, for the first time, a complete assessment of the potential of nature-based solutions (NbS) to mitigate climate change and benefit biodiversity in the UK. Incorporating contributions from over 100 experts, the comprehensive evaluation of the available evidence details the strengths, limitations and trade-offs of NbS in different habitats across the UK.
A priority NbS identified in the report is the restoration of the UK’s peatlands. The UK’s 2.6 million hectares of peatland contain around 3 billion tonnes of carbon, but most are in a degraded state and are no longer actively sequestering carbon. Estimates suggest that they could be emitting 23 million tonnes of CO2e annually, equivalent to approximately half the amount released through the nation’s agricultural sector.
"Chapter 3: There is scope for the UK’s peatlands to be used more widely as nature-based solutions (NbS) to mitigate and adapt to our changing climate and help biodiversity to recover."
Figure 4: Before, and short-term recovery; After initial restoration works on blanket bog on the Pennine hills above Greater Manchester. Revegetating bare peat significantly slows the flow of surface water across, and from, peatland in this condition, helping to reduce downstream flood risk from storm events. Images: © Moors for the Future Partnership.