'Grouse moors are protecting peatland'
THE Moorland Association has welcomed the publication of the England Peat Action Plan saying that grouse moors will continue to play an important role in improving and protecting peatland for years to come.
Association director Amanda Anderson said: “Moorland owners and managers across England share the government’s aspirations to improve peatland and are wholly committed to continuing to play their part in tackling climate change.
A recent survey of more than 100 members of the Moorland Association, whose members care for nearly a million acres of moorland showed more than 3,157 hectares of bare peat had bee restored, with 2,945 kilometres of old agricultural drains (grips) blocked to re-wet the peat.
Another 1,275 hectares of trees had been planted with 43,530 tons of CO2 captured, equivalent to taking 20,533 cars off the road.
The association said this meant 26 per cent of the government’s 2025 peatland restoration target achieved.
Ms Anderson added: “Grouse moor owners and managers have a vested interest in preserving the permanent vegetation cover, thereby stopping the peat erosion witnessed on lowland peatland, helping to prevent flooding and maintaining habitats for rare wildlife.
“As government has acknowledged in the report, emissions from moorland are comparatively low while the potential for carbon retention is immense.
“Our members have achieved more than 60 per cent of the carbon capture work required on their land and will continue to do more using their developed expertise.
“Current research shows that tools such as heather burning, used in the right place at the right time, will help to improve habitat and reduce wildfire risk.”