A welcome plan for Scotland’s peatland

Peatlands will now be protected in Scotland.
Peatlands will now be protected in Scotland.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the progress towards protecting peatlands after the launch of Scotland’s National Peatland Plan.

For the first time, Scotland will have a strategy to secure the sustainable use, management and restoration of peatlands – an internationally important type of habitat and vital natural capital asset.

Compiling the strategy involved input from a wide range of stakeholders including drawing on the expertise of the IUCN Peatland Programme, which Scottish Wildlife Trust has been involved in, which was set up to promote peatland restoration in the UK.

Head of Policy and Planning for Scottish Wildlife Trust, Dr. Maggie Keegan, said: “Peatlands are an important part of Scotland’s natural capital, making up 20 percent of the landscape.

“Healthy peatlands store carbon, provide clean water, aid flood prevention and provide crucial habitat for plants and animals including bog rosemary, round-leaved sundew, greenshank, golden plover and dunlin.

“Sadly many of Scotland’s peatlands, including its lowland raised bogs, have become degraded by draining, overgrazing, burning or commercial peat extraction so this plan is a step in right direction to reversing past damage. The trick will be to ensure that there is adequate funding for restoration in the long term so that the benefits they provide can be enjoyed by future generations.”