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Factsheet: Peatlands, forestry and climate change

Lead Author: Russell Anderson

cc factsheet 41 doosan excavator working on southern half of site scaled
Home publication Factsheet: Peatlands, forestry and climate change

What role can forest-to-bog restoration play?

The UK’s peatlands play an important role in global climate regulation. Like all ecosystems, their plants take up CO₂ from the atmosphere but, unlike most other ecosystems, a substantial part of the carbon gets stored underground as peat. The rate of carbon accumulation is slow but it has continued for up to 11,000 years. In upland blanket bogs, the predominant UK peatland type, the peat layer is typically 1–5 m thick and every square metre contains 40–200kg of carbon. This factsheet explains how forestry affects the carbon stored in peat and the role forest-to-bog restoration can play in reducing carbon emissions.

Tywi N harvesting on 4 m deep peat

About the series

Aimed at practitioners, the factsheets showcase the breadth of research carried out by Forest Research, sometimes over decades, into how trees and forests are facing the challenges of climate change, and actionable insights into how trees and woodlands can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Published
2021
Publication type
Climate change series
Publication owner
Forest Research

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Peatland afforestation in the UK and consequences for carbon storage

Peatlands are a globally significant store of carbon During the second half of the 20th century new planting techniques combined with tax incentives encouraged commercial forestry across large areas of peat bog in the UK, particularly in the Flow Country of northern Scotland. Such planting was controversial and was ultimately halted by removal of the […]