Funding to restore swathe of bogs across Yorkshire and the North will save more than 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide

Nature projects announced for across the country in the battle to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050 will include two initiatives in Yorkshire.

Undated handout photo issued by the Wildlife Trusts of fleet moss restoration on the Great North Bog.
Undated handout photo issued by the Wildlife Trusts of fleet moss restoration on the Great North Bog.

Environmentalists hope the raft of projects will result in thousands of tonnes of carbon being stored while conserving nature species such as beavers and producing more food.

Wildlife trusts across the country are set to benefit from the announcement, after receiving a £2m cash injection from the People's Postcode Lottery.

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The schemes by the coalition of 46 nature charities employ “nature based solutions”, using landscapes and habitats to tackle climate emissions and impacts at the same time as helping to reverse declines in the natural world.

Askham Bog, York

The 12 schemes include restoring huge swathes of peatland across the North, which acts to store carbon while also providing a home to birds and wildlife.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust one of two Trusts in Yorkshire taking part in the UK-wide project, is working with counterparts in Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire and Northumberland to restore the peat bog.

The Great North Bog project aims to put over 4,000 hectares of upland peatland under restoration management, with estimated annual savings in carbon emissions of at least 8,590 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare, per year.

The Yorkshire region currently contains about 20 per cent of England's remaining blanket bog, and is estimated to store around 38m tonnes of carbon.

Askham Bog, York

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust is the second of the region's Trusts benefiting from the funding, and will use it to design a series of ponds, leaky dams, and re-wetting wetlands and creating woodland in the Limb sub-catchment to prevent flooding, create habitats and improve water quality.

Their project is in partnership with the Environment Agency and Sheffield City Council.

Dr Tim Thom, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Peat Programme Manager said: “Thanks to the generosity of the People’s Postcode Lottery and its players, we’ll be able to expand on our already landscape-scale ambitions to restore the upland peatlands of the north.

“Not only are we making bog restoration bigger, but long-term monitoring will help us understand how we can make it better. By observing progress over time, we can adapt our techniques to improve how we restore peatlands in future.

“Peatlands store a colossal amount of carbon - 400m tonnes across the north of England – and it’s vital that carbon stays in the ground if we are to meet the climate challenge.”

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “Nature can be our biggest ally in limiting global temperature rises, but we have to give it a huge helping hand. We need to cut emissions at source to fight climate change – and we can also have a big impact by restoring nature because wilder places lock-up carbon.

“That means repairing the amazing habitats in our seas, re-wetting peatlands, dramatically changing how we manage farmland, re-wilding landscapes, and bringing back habitats that have been lost.

“Crucially, we need to fund projects that get results. Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’re delighted to move forward with these 12 high-impact schemes, which will help to bring nature back and store carbon – both on land and at sea.”

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