A grant of £1.1 million pounds has been awarded to restore lowland peatlands throughout the North West from the government’s Nature for Climate Peatlands Restoration Grant scheme.
Peatlands the size of 250 football pitches will be restored across Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cumbria. Peatlands are England’s largest natural terrestrial carbon store. However, it is estimated that only 13 per cent of England’s peatlands are in a near natural state.
According to The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, drainage for extraction or conversion to agriculture has left our lowland peatlands so damaged that they account for 56 per cent of peatland greenhouse gas emissions, despite only accounting for 14 per cent of UK peatland land mass.
Peatlands stretching from the Solway Mosses in northern Cumbria, through the lowland peatlands of Lancashire to the once extensive Manchester Mosses and the mosses of the Mersey floodplain will be restored.
The Trust says this is great news for our climate, as peatlands could be one of our most vital natural resources in our fight against climate change, but it will also support precious biodiversity, providing homes for endangered species such as the curlew and even the weird and wonderful carnivorous sundew plant.
Members of the Northern Lowland Peatland Coalition, including Lancashire Wildlife Trust, the Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership and Cumbria Wildlife Trust will be undertaking this exciting restoration work.
Restoration of these peatlands will not only help in the fight against climate change but will also support biodiversity.