As we enter the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) rapidly approaching, raising awareness of the importance of peatlands for the climate, people and the planet remains vital. Bog Day exists to do just that and is celebrated annually on the 4th Sunday of July, exploring the many benefits peatlands provide, the threats they face and the ways we can all help to protect them.
This year's Bog Day was celebrated around the world on Sunday 25th July and saw 322 posts on Twitter reaching 5.5 million people in the week leading up to and on the day of the event, bringing peatlands to the forefront of the conversation for many and providing an opportunity for people to learn and share their knowledge about all things peatlands.
“Peatlands are the unseen lungs of the uplands, natural sluice gates against flooding, filters for our drinking water. But we diminish them when we think of them only in terms of the benefits that they afford us." — Lyndon Marquis, Yorkshire Peat Partnership
This year’s Bog Day celebrations also warmly encouraged people to explore their local peatland, whether virtually from the comfort of their own home or on their doorstep. Several partnerships across the UK celebrated the occasion from Moors for the Future Partnership's Bogtastic van engaging with their local communities to Northern Ireland’s Ulster Wildlife Trust who inspired their local politicians to get out on the bog; The Collaborative Action for the Natura Network (CANN) Project’s Peaty A-Z and Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES) ‘Bog Tales’ event which took place in Scotland, with a focus on storytelling and the science behind it all.
“Peatlands are home to sphagnum moss which not only holds huge amounts of water, it also sucks carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and locks it into the peat as carbon - so it's the perfect solution to combating climate change." — Sue White, Shetland Amenity Trust
Voices around the world also participated in this year’s new Bog Day ‘Peatlands are..’ video series, asking individuals to finish the sentence and to tell us what peatlands mean to them. For some they encapsulate time itself, for others it's the sheer power they have to store carbon when they are restored and protected and the home they provide for wildlife, particularly for threatened and declining species. Drawing from this year's video submissions, the following 'Peatlands are...' film compilation shows the different relationships and meanings peatlands have to many people across the globe:
“Peatlands are the past and the future, they store the history of thousands of years of carbon accumulation and hold the key to solve the climate crisis. Let’s take action together and let’s keep the carbon locked in the peatlands.” — Patrick Scheel, Global Peatlands Initiative
We hope you will join us in celebrating the brilliance of bogs every day of the year and to ensure that peatlands will always have a seat at the table when it comes to combatting the climate crisis.