- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Land management Edit
Land managers can contribute to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by:
- strengthening carbon sinks;
- reducing damaging practices (such as deforestation);
- taking-up management that will help enhance carbon storage (such as afforestation and less intensive agriculture); and
- replacing fossil fuels with bio-energy materials.