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Peat Moorland Peat moorland

D3 – Peatland Restoration

By 2030 restore all degraded blanket bog/deep peat habitat to ecologically and hydrologically functioning bog that is actively sequestering and storing carbon, and is being managed sustainably.

How the local partners are doing on this objective

Progress: In 2023/24, the Yorkshire Peat Partnership completed initial restoration works on 3,209 ha of previously damaged peat. The total area under restoration since 2009 is now 26,630 ha – more than half the total area of blanket bog in the National Park. Cumbria Peat Partnership have completed restoration works to 475 ha since 2016.

Press Releases & related articles:

6 February 2024 – ‘Emotional’ return to restored peatland

23 August 2022 – Sundew rises again on Dales peatland

4 May 2021 – Dales peatland ‘a stirring scene of restoration’

Rationale: The National Park’s peatlands are a nationally-important carbon store, covering around 55,000 ha and up to 7m deep.  But much is in a poor condition as a result of artificial drainage installed in the 1970s and 1980s.  Natural drainage has been restored across 18,000 ha by the Yorkshire Peat Partnership with the support of local landowners since 2009.  Up to 37,000 ha remains to be surveyed and restored, which might take until 2040 at current rates.  The economic and environmental benefits so far outweigh the costs that the partners will lobby collectively for funding to speed up restoration.

Lead partner:  Yorkshire Peat Partnership

Supporting partners:  Natural England; Ribble Rivers Trust; National Trust; Environment Agency; Cumbria Peat Partnership; Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Moorland Association

Further information:   Yorkshire Peat Partnership; Cumbria Peat Partnership

Cost over 5 years:    n/a         

Funding shortfall:    n/a          

Related objectives:  A1; A8; C1; C2; D5; E4; E9

Ecosystem services: Climate regulation; Biodiversity; Water availability; Water quality; Water Flow; Soil quality; Soil erosion; Pollination; A sense of place and inspiration; Tranquillity; Recreation;

Trade-offs:    Restoration can have short-term impacts on local water quality (C3). Most restoration projects require the exclusion of livestock. Any impacts on farm business income (E9) is usually off-set through payments from agri-environment schemes.

Baseline: 19,000 ha restored as of March 2018.