Fens peatland sites could be restored

A nature group’s pledge to restore peatland to parts of South Holland is a step closer thanks to it being granted over £800,000.

The Fens East Peat Partnership (FEPP) has been awarded a Discovery Grant by central government as part of their progressive Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme.

The £815,877 is to explore the feasibility of restoring peatlands in the Fens. The government’s Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme “Discovery Grant” will enable the partnership to investigate the state of peat on 20 sites and neighbouring areas across Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Sites in South Holland include much of the far west of the district, including in and around Deeping Fen and near Tydd St Giles.

The aim will be to develop site restoration plans for those peatland sites which in turn will help the UK meet a target to be carbon neutral.

A spokesman for the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, which is are leading the project, explained: “Peatlands are Earth’s largest terrestrial carbon store, holding more than twice the amount of carbon in all the world’s forests.

“They cover 10.9 per cent of England’s land area but 87 per cent are degraded. In this state, they do not capture and store carbon but emit an estimated ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year.”

Other groups involved as part of the Fens for the Future Partnership include The National Trust, Natural England, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB and the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s head of conservation Tammy Marie Smalley said: “These are very exciting times, as peatlands are now in the spotlight as a habitat, that if managed correctly can help us address the two environmental crises, climate change and biodiversity loss.

“The Fens are incredibly important area for an array of threatened species, but also as the bread basket of our nation’s food production.

“We want to work with our partners and neighbours to ensure that water resource management delivers for peatland restoration and much more besides.”

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