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MOORLAND ASSOCIATION WELCOMES DEFRA PEAT ACTION PLAN

18th May 2021

The Moorland Association today welcomed the publication of the England Peat Action Plan and said that grouse moors will continue to play an important role in improving and protecting peatland for years to come.

Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association, said: “Moorland owners and managers across England share government’s aspirations to improve peatland and are wholly committed to continuing to play their part in tackling climate change.

“Grouse moor owners and managers have a vested interest in preserving the permanent vegetation cover, thereby stopping the peat erosion witnessed on lowland peatland, helping to prevent flooding and maintaining habitats for rare wildlife. As government has acknowledged in the report, emissions from moorland are comparatively low while the potential for carbon retention is immense.

“Our members have achieved more than 60 per cent of the carbon capture work required on their land and will continue to do more using their developed expertise. Current research shows that tools such as heather burning, used in the right place at the right time, will help to improve habitat and reduce wildfire risk.”

A recent survey of more than 100 members of the Moorland Association, whose members care for nearly one million acres of moorland, has revealed that the following targets have been achieved in the latest phase of work towards the 2025 peatland targets:

  • More than 3,157 hectares of bare peat restored
  • 2,945 kilometres of old agricultural drains (grips) blocked to re-wet the peat
  • 1,275 hectares of trees planted
  • 43,530 tons of CO2 captured, equivalent to taking 20,533 cars off the road
  • 26 per cent of the government’s 2025 peatland restoration target achieved

 

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Did You Know?

75% of Europe’s remaining upland heather moorland is found in the UK – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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