Global peatland partners come together to spread the peaty word

Global peatland partners come together to spread the peaty word

Peatland conservation organisations and experts from across the world have joined together with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI) to pledge their collective commitment to tacking climate change, protecting nature and forging ahead for the health of our planet.

The network of organisations is undertaking a press and social media collaboration to share experiences and celebrate the successes of ongoing work. The joint effort will highlight the importance of peatlands to the planet and focus on the different ways that organisations are working towards their conservation, restoration and sustainable management across the world.

The relay of stories from peatland projects worldwide started with the UK as the host of the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November.

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is now picking up the baton which has already passed through the North Pennines AONB, the Care-Peat project in Belgium, NUI Galway, five EU transnational projects (Carbon Connects, Care-Peat, DESIRE, LIFE Peat Restore, and CANAPE), and Bax & Company who straddle the UK, Spain and The Netherlands – and now it’s landed in Lancashire.

Little Woolden Moss showing sphagnum moss pools and tussocks of cotton-grass

Little Woolden Moss - Andy Hankinson

The Lancashire Peatlands Initiative looks after peatland restoration projects across our region, helping to restore and protect these amazing climate change challenging, biodiversity boosting, flood fighting, super-habitats.

For example, five years ago Little Woolden Moss in Greater Manchester, was being destroyed by peat extraction for use in horticulture but under our care is already showing amazing signs of recovery.

And just next door to Winmarleigh Moss SSSI near Garstang, we are transforming a previously drained peatland that had been converted to agriculture into a pioneering carbon farm, re-wetting the land and growing a permanent cover crop of sphagnum moss to literally farm carbon from the atmosphere into the ground, helping to combat the climate emergency.

Thousands of plugs of green sphagnum moss planted in rows

Plugs of sphagnum moss at the Winmarleigh carbon farm

Sarah Johnson, Lancashire Peatlands Initiative Project Manager, commented: “Globally peatlands only cover around three per cent of the earth’s surface, however they store 33 per cent of terrestrial soil carbon – more than all of the world’s forests combined! However, they are in trouble. 80 per cent of UK peatlands are in a damaged or degraded state and in our region alone we have lost 98 per cent of our lowland raised peat bogs. This is not only devastating for biodiversity but emissions from degraded peatlands account for five per cent of total UK greenhouse gas releases. We need to act now to make a change; not just for our UK peatlands, not just for our global peatlands, but for the future of our planet as a whole.”

We need to act now to make a change; not just for our UK peatlands, not just for our global peatlands, but for the future of our planet as a whole

Dianna Kopansky, Global Peatlands Coordinator for GPI, said: “Linking up to raise awareness of the potential of healthy peatlands for climate action, nature protection and our overall well-being is vital. Peatlands are a neglected ecosystem and by profiling the incredible peatland restoration efforts across the globe we hope to awaken opportunities and inspire action. Peatland conservationists from around the world are coming together to share their stories about the work they do and the work that needs to be completed to fight climate change. GPI welcomes this coordinated communications effort from our peatland partners. Together we will be highlighting peatland restoration during COP26 in Glasgow in November, and throughout the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.”

Join us - share, learn, inspire, experience and act for peatlands, people and the planet. Follow and share using #PeatlandsMatter and #GenerationRestoration