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.