Peatlands are vitally important in the global carbon cycle and UK greenhouse gas budgets.
Terrestrial carbon store
Peatlands represent the single most important terrestrial carbon store in the UK, covering around 9.5% of the UK land area, with current estimates indicating that they could store at least 3.2billion tonnes of carbon.
Damaged and degraded peatlands place a substantial financial burden on society because of increased greenhouse gas emissions, poorer water quality and loss of other ecosystem services. They may also exacerbate costly flood events, when water is rapidly conveyed from peatland through drainage ditches and erosion gullies into downstream areas. Twenty-seven percent of the UK’s blanket bog, a unique type of peatland can be found in the North Pennines AONB.
The good news is that they are cost-effective to restore and the North Pennnines AONB Partnership, with the support of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) is already working hard to raise awareness of the global importance of this issue and is driving urgently required action to redress past damage.