UK Peatland Experts Link with EU

A new group has been launched that will exchange expertise across Europe to help in the fight against climate change and restore some of our most vital habitats.

Launched by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership in collaboration with environmental network Eurosite, the group will bring together peatland restoration experts to share the science and practice behind the work they do on sites across Europe.  

Paul Leadbitter, Peatland Programme Manager from the North Pennines AONB Partnership, demonstrating restoration techniques to international partners in 2018

Paul Leadbitter, Peatland Programme Manager from the North Pennines AONB Partnership, demonstrating restoration techniques to international partners in 2018

As lead partner of the EU funded Pennine PeatLIFE project, staff from the North Pennines AONB Partnership will chair the new Peatland Restoration Working Group. Setting up the group is one of the objectives of Pennine PeatLIFE, and will allow experts to share scientific research and expertise as well as the practical restoration and monitoring techniques which have been developed across the EU.

Damaged peatlands release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but once restored they act as a carbon sink. Emissions from damaged peat contribute to about 10% of the EU’s total carbon dioxide emissions and as such their restoration and sustainable management are an important tool to help mitigate climate change. Restored and healthy peatlands are also important habitats for plants and animals, and mitigate against flooding by slowing the flow of water to lowland areas.

Kristijan Čivić, Network Development Manager of Eurosite said:
“Our members have been sharing knowledge between similar sites for more than 30 years. We are now looking at a different approach where we work together on a topic of joint interest.

“Peatland restoration is a topic that has gained a lot of importance in the light of the climate change discussions and is gaining importance with countries in the North-West Europe, both among Eurosite members and beyond.”

Paul Leadbitter from the North Pennines AONB Partnership, explained:
“As part of our European funded Pennine PeatLIFE project we will be working with our European partner Eurosite to bring together past and current peatland restoration projects to learn from what has gone before, share research and practice and coordinate the future efforts of peatland restoration.”

Pennine PeatLIFE

The Pennine PeatLIFE project is being led by the North Pennines AONB Partnership in collaboration with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Forest of Bowland AONB. The project is delivering 1,300 hectares of peatland restoration in the North Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland, establishing new restoration techniques to suit the unique climatic conditions and trialling innovative Payment for Ecosystem Services methods to inform future peatland restoration funding streams.

The project is funded by the EU LIFE Programme and co-financed by Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water.

North Pennines AONB Partnership

The North Pennines AONB Partnership is an alliance of 24 public, statutory and voluntary sector bodies with an interest in the future of the AONB. The work of the Partnership is carried out by its Staff Unit which takes action to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, to raise awareness of its special qualities and to improve the quality of life for local people.

The North Pennines is one of England’s most special places – a peaceful, unspoilt landscape with a rich history and vibrant natural beauty. It was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1988. The purpose of this nationally recognised designation is the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the area. At almost 2,000 sq. kilometres the North Pennines is the second largest of the 46 AONBs (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and is one of the most peaceful and unspoilt places in England.

North pennines

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