Update: State of UK Peatlands

Image © Clifton Bain

Update: State of UK Peatlands


To complement the IUCN Commission of Inquiry Update, there is a need to refresh the information presented in the Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands (2011) in relation to the State of UK Peatlands. Advances have been made in the use of remote sensing and mapping of peatlands for both national assessment and project specific monitoring. The update will also specifically seek to include new information on the peatland restoration and conservation activity that has taken place since 2011, as well as capturing proposed peatland restoration going forward under new funding announcements (e.g. LIFE, agri-environment funding) and new country-level peatland actions plans such as those in Scotland and England.


  • Outline our understanding of peatland trajectories from a degraded > restoring > restored state, and the external influences, such as land management practices, which may influence the path or direction of the restoration trajectory
  • Briefly summarise the range of techniques being employed to map the peatland resource and condition of peatlands in the UK and UKOTs. Include an overview of current remote sensing projects and the types of peatland data these will generate
  • Summarise the extent of restoration activity that has taken place across the UK (inc. UKOTs) since the last assessment report in 2011. Include detail (where available) on:
  • The type of peatland restoration undertaken and areas restored
  • The techniques used to restore the peatland
  • Management requirements post-restoration
  • Restoration costs (per ha averages)
  • Summarise the scale of future peatland restoration that is committed to under existing funding/project agreements across Government, statutory bodies, NGOs and private landowners (where known). Indicate the delivery mechanism for this restoration and its funding source.


Each team is delivering the following:

  • A workshop with relevant stakeholders to scope out topic content plus additional workshops as required
  • A written report presenting a consensus view (where possible) amongst the author team and wider stakeholders; where a concensus view is not attainable the report will present the argument clearly and summarise any knowledge gaps. Protocols will be suggested where possible to address these knowledge gaps
  • A summary briefing in plain-English of the key findings of the report and recommendations for future work, using case studies to provide examples of key points
  • A graphical representation of the topic as a whole, or a key aspect of the topic to be either a) a graphical abstract; b) a summary diagram; or c) an infographic
  • Presentation of findings at an Open Inquiry Event, and in addition the option to present at the 2018 IUCN UK Peatland Programme annual conference.
Sphagnum moss harvesting at trial site, Greifswald Mire Centre © Tobias Dahms
Wet agriculture - a tool in the climate action toolboxWith the urgent need to reduce our carbon emissions wherever possible, complimenting traditional…
Money for peatland restoration
Budget announcements for UK peatland restoration Peatlands received a welcome funding boost in the UK Budget 2020.  In a move to support the…
Peatlands in the EU post CAP
Peatlands in the UK beyond Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)The IUCN UK Peatland Programme continues to feed into the international peatland agenda, recently…
Afforested peatland restoration at Forsinard  © Neil Cowie/RSPB
Peatland & Trees position statement releasedThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme have released a position statement and recommendations on Trees on…
Caithness Wildfire, 2019 © Paul Turner
Burning & Peatlands Position StatementThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme have updated our position statement on Burning and Peatlands which…
Dubh lochans and blanket bog at The Flows NNR near Forsinard, Caithness. June 2011 ©Lorne Gill/SNH/2020VISION
Scottish Budget 2020-21The Scottish Government announces £20 million for peatland restoration and a commitment to invest £…
Land use: policies for a Net Zero UK CCC report
Committee on Climate Change Report on Land Use: Policies for a Net Zero UKThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme welcomes strengthened policy and legislative recommendations in the…
Multiple effects of peatland drainage
New resource available: Explaining the impact of peatland drainage.Illustrating the multiple effects of peatland drainage including implications for carbon emissions…
Managed burning of heather © North Pennines AONB
A burning issue: comparison between Australian & UK fire management misses the mark. The news of the ongoing Australian fires is deeply concerning both in terms of the impact on people…
IUCN Resolution 43 reporting
IUCN Resolution 43 reportingNew report on progress under IUCN Resolution 43: Securing the future of global peatlands available…
Langlands Moss Restoration works underway
Langlands Moss Restoration works underwayLanglands Moss Local Nature Reserve, on the south edge of East Kilbride, Scotland is set to be…
Snowdonia Society volunteers creating heather bale dams on the Migneint, Snowdonia. © Dan Struthers Photography
Working together for the future of Welsh peatlandsA major programme of works is underway this season to restore peatlands across Wales. A large…