UK peatlands store 20 years’ worth of the UK’s annual emissions of carbon below the ground, store water, and provide habitat for rare wildlife such as golden plover, curlews, and sundew plants.
But in England many peatlands are still set fire to every year, as grouse moors burn the heather. It is claimed that this is to reduce the risk of wildfires, but it also generates new heather growth, and grouse feed predominantly on young heather shoots.
Setting fire to peatlands is hugely detrimental and has big impacts on their carbon storage, their water storage, and their suitability for wildlife.
12 months ago today (28th October) the Government promised to ban peat burning, and 12 months from now the UK will host the UN climate conference. One of the most basic steps the UK Government can take towards preserving our environment and climate is to #BanTheBurn.
Read our letter (written in collaboration with A Focus on Nature and Re-Peat) to the UK government about peat burning here.