Peatlands are a key part of the Scottish landscape, covering more than 20% of the country. Peatlands in good health are valuable carbon stores and important habitats with many benefits for people and nature, including biodiversity, improving water quality and reducing flood risk. However, it is estimated that over 80% of our peatlands are degraded.
Consequently, peatland restoration is a key element of the Scottish Government's Climate Change Plan 2018-2032.
Peatland restoration at Glensaugh
A central ambition of our Climate-Positive Farming Initiative is to increase carbon capture and storage through restoration of habitats and soil, working with neighbours where relevant to expand the benefits to larger areas. Peatland restoration forms a key part of the wider catchment restoration and whole system approach at Glensaugh.Glensaugh and neighbouring Glen Dye estate are working together on a peatland restoration project on land to the east of Cairn O’Mount summit.
The project is being funded by NatureScot’s Peatland ACTION - Peatland ACTION is a programme of works helping to restore damaged peatlands across Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government. The restoration work was carried out in September-October 2022 and our James Hutton Institute peatland scientists will follow the process of recovery and instrument the area to provide information on GHG emission reductions and other changes.
The Hutton Institute has also submitted documents for registration of the peatland restoration work on Glensaugh with the IUCN’s Peatland Code. The Peatland Code is a voluntary certification standard for UK peatland projects that validates and quantifies the climate benefits of peatland restoration and provides assurances that any climate benefits being claimed or traded are real, quantifiable, additional and permanent.
As part of the Peatland Code’s validation process, we are currently conducting a stakeholder consultation with regard to the peatland restoration project and a consultation document providing more details of the project is available here.
If you would like to know more about proposed peatland restoration work at Glensaugh please get in touch.
James Hutton Institute's research on peatlands
Scientists at the James Hutton Institute are actively involved in several studies of peatlands and their restoration in sies across Scotland and beyond. This includes research that aims to inform the restoration process and ensure that peatland restoration is done in the right place, at the right time, and with the best possible practices to ensure maximum environmental, economic and social benefits.