Scotland commits £11m to restore carbon-storing peatlands

Peat soils in Scotland cover around 25% of the country, with the vast areas providing a natural sink of carbon emissions when left undisturbed

The Big Zero report

The Scottish Government has announced an additional £11 million of funding to restore peatland areas, which store around 1,600 million tonnes of carbon.

It follows the government’s initial commitment of £3 million for restoration works, which include improving areas of wetlands by reducing drainage and slowing water flow on peatland as well as covering areas of peat that are exposed to help lock in carbon.

Peat soils in Scotland cover around 25% of the country, with the vast areas of peatland providing a natural sink of carbon emissions when left undisturbed.

They also benefit the environment by providing an internationally important habitat, improving water quality and reducing flood risk.

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The impact of peatland degradation on climate change cannot be overstated – particularly in Scotland, where around 25% of the country is covered in peat soil. If all of the CO2 from that peatland were released, then it would be the equivalent of more than 120 years of Scotland’s emissions being produced at once.

“Restoring peatland has an important part to play in delivering the Scottish Government’s climate change ambitions. By doing this, we’re also providing an important habitat for plants and wildlife, improving water quality and mitigating flood risk.”

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