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Scotland restores record 10,360 hectares of peatlands

Scotland restores record 10,360 hectares of peatlands

Scotland peatlands

Scotland restored a record 10,360 hectares of damaged peatlands in 2023-24. ( A hectare is a unit of area in the metric system equal to 100 areas, or 10,000 square meters.) This is the highest figure ever achieved in a single year. The average rate of peatland restoration has more than doubled over the last two years.

This was thanks to 100 different projects. Agriculture Minister Jim Fairlie welcomed the efforts ahead of World Peatlands Day on June 2. Almost three-quarters of Scotland’s nearly two million hectares of peatlands are currently degraded.

Restoration methods include rewetting the land by installing dams to block drains, smoothing plowed ridges, removing trees, and reducing grazing intensity. Healthy peatlands capture and store carbon, reduce flood risks, and improve water quality.

Record-breaking peatland restoration efforts

The Scottish Government has pledged £250 million to restore damaged peatlands, which release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

They account for around 15% of emissions. Mr. Fairlie stated, “Restoring degraded peatlands is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

There are many benefits, such as reducing flooding risks, improving water quality, and enhancing local biodiversity.

He added, “Increasing private investment in peatland restoration and maximizing the community benefits from these projects is crucial. By increasing the pace and scale of peatland restoration, we can restore our natural environment and tackle climate change more effectively.

Mr. Fairlie said, “I am very pleased to announce this achievement ahead of World Peatlands Day.

I want to thank everyone across the Peatland Action partnership for all their hard work and commitment this year in achieving this significant milestone.”

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This milestone emphasizes Scotland’s commitment to environmental restoration and the fight against climate change.

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