England launches Peat Action Plan

May 18, 2021

 

The IUCN UK Peatland Programme (IUCN UK PP) welcomes the long-awaited publication of the England Peat Action Plan (EPAP). We are pleased to see the Plan outline a suite of policy and management interventions for England’s peatlands released alongside complementary woodland plans in a bid to halt the decline of nature and wildlife. The EPAP has been developed to align with the broad principles of the IUCN UK PP’s UK Peatland Strategy (2018): the connectedness of UK, National and regional strategic planning for peatlands set out in these documents is in itself is a world leading approach, helping other countries who are developing a strategic approach as required by IUCN, UN and Ramsar resolutions. This is a global challenge and the UK as a top ten peatland nation has to show leadership. 

The England Peat Action Plan outlines measures to:

  • Develop an updated peat map by 2024
  • Fund 35,000ha of restoration by 2025 with ELMs schemes (Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery) to deliver beyond 2024. 
  • Continue to convene the Lowland Agricultural Peat Task Force to identify a more sustainable future for lowland agricultural peatlands.
  • Ban the sale of peat and peat containing products in the amateur sector by 2024. 
  • Continue to protect our peat from fire by both phasing out managed burning and reducing the risk of wildfire.


As of 2020 peatlands are now accounted for in the UK greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and it is important that peatlands continue to be seen as nature-based solution to climate change and play a key role in our green recovery. The scale and urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises demands an urgent move from peatland planning to implementation. While the Plan does not include long-term targets for peatlands we recognise the ambition to publish national and regional implementation plans to detail the future trajectory of recovery for England’s peatlands. These plans will need to engage across different land use sectors to tackle current policy challenges and threats to peatlands. Policy intervention needs to be secured with blended public and private finance and a long term approach to providing economic support (e.g. through agriculture payments) to land managers who maintain and restore peatlands. 

The Plan recognises the need for funding which goes beyond capital grant support and acknowledges the role that private finance, such as that achieved through the Peatland Code, will play a role in delivering restoration at scale. While long-term plans for restoration and associated funding beyond 2025 remain unclear, funding for approximately 10% of England’s peatlands is secured through the formal launch of the Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme. The scheme is currently open to applications for Restoration and Discovery Grants. The application window will close at midday on 25th June 2021. Details of the scheme and how to apply can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nature-for-climate-peatland-grant-scheme

 

See also Defra press release: Environment Secretary to set out plans to restore nature and build back greener from the pandemic

IUCN UK PP Conference 2021
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021 - Save the dateSave the Dates: 13th - 16th September 2021
Minister Poots pictured with Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife
Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy ConsultationEnvironment Minister, Edwin Poots has launched a public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland…
Virtual Peatland Pavilion
Peatland Pavilion proposal for COP26 programmeOpportunity to contribute to and participate in proposing and shaping the first ever dedicated…
Diggers on Bwlch y Groes
Wales’ first carbon-funded peatland restoration project is complete!A peatland restoration project at Bwlch y Groes on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park is the…
England launches Peat Action Plan
England launches Peat Action PlanThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme welcomes the long-awaited publication of the England Peat Action…
Screenshot of PeatDatHub database
Launch of the PeatDataHub PeatDataHub is a research hub for communicating peatland science and managing peatland monitoring…
Eyes on the Bog equipment displayed on Water Works site
Eyes on the Bog monitoring at the Water Works projectJack Clough (University of East London’s) takes us through the process of installing an Eyes on the…
Helicopter flying over Moors for the Future site with restoration materials
Moors for the Future deliver biggest conservation season yet in a challenging yearAgainst a backdrop of ever-changing circumstances and a challenging year for nature, Moors for the…
Musician Sarah Smout on Fleet Moss with her cello
Yorkshire Peat Partnership: A music video on Fleet MossWith the help of Yorkshire Peat Parnership, musician Sarah Smout filmed a music video on Fleet Moss…
Cottongrass on peatland © Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project
Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project and Australian Wetlands Collaboration puts Arts Council England Funding to WorkThe ‘Mosses and Marshes’ project has newly been awarded a grant from Arts Council England.
Sphagnum moss © Moors for the Future Partnership
Study monitors single-species sphagnum plug growth on blanket bogThe study by Moors for the Future Partnership was carried out to discover the most effective…
British Ecological Society nature-based solutions graphic (city and train)
British Ecological Society: Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change in the UK ReportThe British Ecological Society have today published their landmark report offering the first…