Funding available for peatland restoration projects

Flow country landscape
Norette Ferns

Funding is available to land owners, managers, farmers, crofters and estates to help protect Scotland's peatlands.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has already received more than £4 million of applications to the Peatland Action Fund and wants further applications before the closing date at the end of October.

Peatland Action is a peatland restoration project run by SNH and funded mainly by Scottish Government. The funding for 2017/18 is up to £8 million.

The project aims to restore Scottish peatlands while also supporting demonstration sites and events to raise standards and encourage innovation for effective peatland restoration.

Restoration techniques start with ‘rewetting’ of peatland, mostly through ditch blocking. This reconnects peatlands with water catchments, helping to slow river flows and, in some cases, ease downstream flooding. Other restoration techniques being trialled include peat hag re-profiling, re-vegetating bare peat and forest to pre-existing bog recovery.

Andrew McBride, the project manager, said:

"Our drinking water comes from these peatland catchment areas, so healthy peatlands are crucial for clean water. River salmon and trout fisheries depend on clear water to allow the development of fish eggs laid in the river gravels. In addition, associated species like freshwater pearl mussels benefit from the peat free waters. Soils are the main terrestrial store of carbon in Scotland and peaty soils are estimated to hold the equivalent of 140 years’ worth of Scotland’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions. That is an enormous store of carbon and by restoring and protecting this precious asset now we can make proactive gains towards Scotland’s climate change targets."

Visit the SNH website for more information on the Peatland Action Fund.

If you have a potential project that you would like to discuss, or you have a request for information or data gathered from the project, please email in the first instance.