• England’s peat soils store around 300 million tonnes of C and, like many upland areas, the Cumbria High Fells are a “carbon time bomb” needing to be specifically managed as a future carbon store. Significant amounts of carbon will be emitted if the drier summers and heavier rain expected from climate change are allowed to dry out or erode peat supplies. Improving the condition of all existing upland habitats and water resources is a priority, particularly high carbon ones like blanket bog.
  • Many species in the area are likely to expand their range - the ruddy darter and the hairy dragonfly have been present in Cumbria since 2001 and the heath fritillary butterfly may colonise the area. Garlic mustard and cow parsley will benefit from a warmer environment, although others species will decline, such as the stiff sedge plant, the ice age relic fish the arctic char, and the mountain ringlet butterfly, which faces local extinction.
  • More extreme cycles of wetting and drying may also affect the foundations of walls and historic buildings, iconic features of this region.

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