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 developing a joint peatland restoration project on land to the east of Cairn O’Mount summit.
Applications for funding to NatureScot’s Peatland ACTION are currently being developed. Peatland ACTION is a programme of works helping to restore damaged peatlands across Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government. If the funding applications are successful, it is hoped that the restorations works will be carried out later in 2022.
The Hutton Institute also intends to register 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 proposed restoration project and a consultation document providing more details of the proposed project is available here.
If you would like to know more about proposed peatland restoration work at Glensaugh please get in touch.
Scientists at the James Hutton Institute are actively involved in several studies of peatlands and their restoration, with research aiming to ensure peatland restoration is done in the right place, at the right time, and with the best possible practice to ensure maximum environmental, economic and social benefits.