National Peatland Plan launched

28th August 2015

peat bunding at Carsegowan moss © Scottish Wildlife Trust

The important role of Scotland’s Peatlands in supporting the Scottish economy, and the need to take action to protect and enhance them has today (28th August) been recognised with the publication of Scotland’s National Peatland Plan by Scottish Forum on Natural Capital member Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Peatlands are a vital part of Scotland’s natural capital, covering over 20% of its land area, they form an in integral part of Scotland’s iconic landscape and underpin industries worth billions of pounds to the Scottish economy. The plan recognises the multiple benefits of healthy peatlands from flood management, recreation space and outdoor education to water filtering and carbon storage.  

The publication of the plan builds on the recognition in the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy and the 2020 Biodiversity Route Map of the need to invest in Scotland’s natural capital.

The announcement earlier this year of a further £3million of funding from the Scottish Government for peatland restoration indicates the recognition of peatland as an important nature based solution for tackling climate change.

The plan identifies that both public and private funding have a crucial role to play in achieving the plan’s principal aim to:

– Protect, manage and restore peatlands to maintain their natural functions, biodiversity and benefits.

Co-Chair of the Scottish Forum & Chair of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme, Jonathan Hughes, said: “Scotland’s National Peatland Plan is a vital to tackling the globally important issue of peatland conservation. We urgently need to convert peatlands from a liability to an asset. Healthy peatlands can lock up carbon, support wildlife, regulate water flow and improve water quality – but only if we make an investment to restore them.

“We must all play our part but clear leadership from the Scottish Government with the right policies and funding in place is essential if people are to be empowered to look after Scotland’s peatlands and appreciate their true benefits to society.”

 

Scotland's National Peatland Plan was published on Friday 28th August by SNH

Find out about the role of peatlands in the 'recipe' for Scotland's national drink with our "What's in a dram?" infographic

Photograph: Peat bunding at Carsegowan moss © Scottish Wildlife Trust