£6.9 million in grants awarded for peatland restoration across Northern England

Partners in the Great North Bog coalition are celebrating funding success of £6.9 million through the Nature for Climate fund, administered by Natural England. Combined with match-funding, the Great North Bog has attracted £9.3 million for restoration work through this year’s bidding round.

The Great North Bog is a landscape-scale approach to upland peatland restoration and conservation across nearly 7,000 square kilometres of peatland soils in the Protected Landscapes of northern England.

The funding will make a huge contribution to the landscape’s future resilience to climate change and create significant benefits for greenhouse gas reduction. Avoided loss of 118,596 tonnes of carbon over the next 50 years will yield a greenhouse gas benefit of over £20 million.

In the Peak District National Park, £1 million of grant funding, matched with £330,000 from Yorkshire Water, will enable bare peat restoration, through gully blocking, reprofiling, bunding, heather brash spreading, revegetation and sphagnum planting, delivered by Moors for the Future Partnership.

Rachael Bice, Chair of the Great North Bog Board said:

“Public awareness around the value of healthy peatlands and their contribution to tackling the climate and biodiversity crises is increasing; the Great North Bog is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore and connect upland peat habitats across northern England.

“Working together, at scale, with landowners and land managers, we’re thrilled at what we’ll be able to accomplish thanks to this Natural England funding.”

Chris Dean, head of Moors for the Future Partnership said:

“This funding allows Moors for the Future Partnership to continue the work of moorland restoration we have been doing for 20 years. Since 2003 the partnership has raised £50 million of investment and has delivered restoration to over 34 square kilometres of bare and eroding peat.

“Healthy peatlands are resilient and ecologically diverse habitats providing benefits for people and nature. They store carbon; slow the flow of water from the hills; filter our drinking water; and provide a home for a diverse range of plant and animal species. This funding will allow us to continue our work and make a significant contribution to tackling climate change by reducing carbon loss from peatlands by over 84,000 tonnes. The Nature for Climate funding is one of a number of funding streams from public and private partners that recognise the importance of moorland restoration.”
Around 80% of upland peatlands across the Peak District National Park and South Pennine Park have been left in a damaged state due to centuries of industrial pollution, and wildfires. This funding is part of the government commitment to set 35,000 ha of degraded peatland in England on a path to restoration by March 2025 and reduce emissions from peat by 9 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050.

The Great North Bog represents around 92% of the upland peat in England. The Great North Bog includes four National Parks, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the proposed South Pennines Park and represents significant opportunity to implement the peatland restoration objectives in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.