Across the globe, peatlands occupy only 3% of the world’s land area but store over 30% of global carbon making them essential in our fight against climate change. By restoring these essential habitats, we not only utilise natures ability to tackle the climate crisis, but we also provide places to live for rare and wonderful wildlife.
In Wales there is a huge 90,000 hectares of peat soil, but sadly the majority are in poor condition. This is the result of mismanagement such as draining of soils for agriculture and extraction of peat for gardening. This destruction of peatland not only results in a lack of ability to lock in carbon, but it means that peat is actually a source of greenhouse gas emissions.
In Wales, peat currently releases around 550,000 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year. If this were to continue and the carbon in peatlands in Wales was lost to the atmosphere, it would be the equivalent to 15 years’ worth of Wales’s total CO2 emissions.
Wildlife Trusts Wales want to reverse this trend by developing projects to restore Welsh peatlands by 2030, with measures to achieve restoration in place by 2025 or before. Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation will play a pivotal role in this ambitious move by investing now to realise this vision. This means that carbon will be locked-up rather than being released, water will be clean due to filtration, endangered wildlife will be conserved, and Welsh homes will be protected from flood risk.