Bid to restore Scottish peatland to good health

The National Trust for Scotland has given its support to the first UK Peatland Strategy.

As Scotland’s largest conservation organisation and one of its biggest landowners the Trust for Scotland is doing its part to conserve Scotland’s peatlands.

It has helped to develop the UK’s first Peatland Strategy which sets an ambition to have 2 million hectares of peatland in healthy condition by 2040.

The UK’s first collaborative Peatland Strategy is launched in York yesterday (Thursday), setting out a shared vision for a brighter future for our vital, but damaged peatlands.

In developing the strategy, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme has involved Government, third sector, scientific and land managing communities.

Stuart Brooks, head of natural heritage policy at the National Trust for Scotland and chair of the IUCN UK Committee who oversees this project, said: ‘The case for protecting peatlands for their wildlife, carbon and water management benefits is better understood but we have a long way to go to bring many of our peatland landscapes back into healthy condition so we can realise their benefits.

‘The Trust is committed to helping deliver this strategy in Scotland; ensuring our gardens don’t use peat based composts, protecting our moorlands from damaging fires and restoring peatland habitats on some of Scotland’s best loved nature reserves.’

The IUCN UK Peatland Programme was set up in 2009 to promote peatland restoration in the UK.

The programme advocates the multiple benefits of peatlands through partnerships, strong science, sound policy and effective practice.

The work of the Peatland Programme is overseen by a steering group made up of representatives of key environmental organisations that includes the National Trust for Scotland.