PEAT PRO­TEC­TION

Landscape (UK) - - Land Scape -

Pro­duc­ing peat-free com­post is not the only way Jane and Si­mon are supporting ef­forts to re­duce the ef­fects of cli­mate change and pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment. They also run one of the lead­ing com­pa­nies in­volved in peat­land restora­tion. With spe­cially adapted ma­chin­ery, they are in­volved in re-wet­ting bogs, rein­tro­duc­ing veg­e­ta­tion and re­pair­ing sur­faces left ex­posed af­ter ex­trac­tion. As the UK’s largest ter­res­trial car­bon store, peat bogs play a vi­tal role in com­bat­ing cli­mate change. They re­duce the amount of car­bon diox­ide in the at­mos­phere, which acts as a green­house gas, in­creas­ing global tem­per­a­tures. Healthy peat bogs also help to im­prove wa­ter qual­ity, and their wa­ter-re­ten­tion prop­er­ties are be­ing used in nat­u­ral flood man­age­ment tech­niques. In 2011, the Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a vol­un­tary tar­get for am­a­teur gar­den­ers to phase out the use of peat by 2020, and this has been re­in­forced by a gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment in­tro­duced in 2018: A Green Fu­ture: Our 25 Year Plan to Im­prove the En­vi­ron­ment. Many of the staff em­ployed in the restora­tion work dur­ing the win­ter then move to cut­ting the bracken in the sum­mer, be­com­ing highly skilled at driv­ing the ma­chin­ery on very dif­fi­cult ter­rain.

Peat hags, caused by wa­ter ero­sion, on the Cum­brian fells.

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