Thousands of hectares of peatlands including two in Lincolnshire are set to be restored with financial help to help tackle climate change and recover biodiversity.
The Fens East Peat Partnership will restore over 1,300 hectares of peatland in the Fens East, which includes agricultural peatlands and landscapes already being restored. The partnership will share knowledge and expertise with practitioners facing similar challenges across peatland landscapes.
In the Humberhead Levels the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust will restore relic raised bogs which have historically been drained for agriculture or for fuel. Restoration activities will see action to control scrub and improve water level management to improve the landscape. Community events and training days will also be delivered to engage local landowners in peat restoration.
The work is part of a Government investment of more than £50 million in peat restoration, building on its pledge to restore approximately 35,000 hectares of peatland in England by the end of this Parliament, and leave the environment in a better state for future generations.
Peatlands are an iconic feature of England’s landscape – often referred to as “our national rainforest”. They contain over half of the country’s terrestrial carbon stores and provide a haven for wildlife, as well as supporting better water quality and natural flood management.
However, 87% of England’s peatlands, including lowland peatlands are degraded, damaged and dried out, emitting tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. The funding from government will help restore these environments, in turn helping protect wildlife and restore their critical ability to manage water quality and reduce the risk of flooding.
The projects being awarded funding stretch from Somerset to County Durham and will see iconic peatland habitat, such as the Great North Bog, Dorset Heaths and the Lincolnshire Fens restored.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Our peatlands hold over half of our terrestrial store of carbon, but with just 1% in a near natural state and soils drying out we must take urgent action to prevent further carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere.
“Backed by over £16 million of government funding these new landscape-scale projects will drive collaboration and supercharge peatland restoration across the country to tackle climate change and fight biodiversity loss.”