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Uplands cover around 12% of England, and only 1% of the population live there.

  1. Uplands are nationally and internationally important for a range of wildlife habitats, geology and outstanding landscapes.
  2. 53% of SSSIs lie within the uplands. Only 3% of the uplands are covered by native woodlands
  3. 75% of uplands have been designated as National Park or AONB.
  4. There are 70 million day visits to upland National Parks alone each year.
  5. 70% of the UK’s water supply is collected from upland catchments
  6. They are home to around 3 million sheep – 45% of the total number of breeding ewes in the country; and in addition to meat produce around 5 million kilos of wool every year.

At present - because of erosion, oxidation, and burning - up to 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are being released per year from English peatlands, comparable to CO2 emissions from domestic aviation.[1]

Random facts Edit

Upland peat bogs in the UK

  • The amount of carbon stored in the UK’s peatlands is equivalent to at least three years of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions. There is more carbon stored in the UK’s peat than in all the forests of Britain and France combined. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007
  • Carbon dioxide emissions from soils totalled 13.69 million tonnes in 2005. By comparison, carbon dioxide emissions from domestic aviation was 2.47 million tonnes. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007
  • All of the peatlands in England and Wales would absorb around 41,000 tonnes of carbon a year if in a pristine condition but could emit up to 381,000 tonnes of carbon a year if they are damaged by practices such as excessive burning, drainage and over-grazing. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007
  • The restoration and enhancement of peatlands could save around 400,000 tonnes a year, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 1.1 billion car miles or 84,000 family-sized cars. Peat land landscapes are also important habitats for up to 5,000 species of plants and animals such as Sphagnum mosses and cotton grasses, adders, oyster catchers and short-eared owls. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007

Resources Edit

  • Vital Uplands - a 2060 Vision for England’s uplands, Natural England, November 2009


  1. Natural England, 12 November 2009

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