Work is underway to restore six peatlands to their natural state across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire.
The project will take place on Risley Moss,Danes Moss, Holcroft Moss, in Cheshire, Goyt Moss Bridge, Peak Naze and Sykes Moor, in the Peak District and Crompton Moor, Greater Manchester,
It will restore upland and lowland peatlands to their natural state by increasing their capacity to prevent carbon entering the atmosphere, reduce flood risk by slowing the flow of rain water and creating habitats for vulnerable wildlife.
Natural England has been advising the partners about the best design for the schemes, and approving methods used on the Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
By blocking drainage ditches, building peat bunds and working with the local topography, the work will help keep water on the sites, encouraging the typical bog plant species and discouraging the dry-loving grasses and birch.
Peatlands cover 11% of England’s landscape and they provide a great habitat for a wide range of wildlife and birds including merlin, dunlin and golden plover. They also provide 70% of our drinking water and reduce greenhouse gases by locking away at least 3.2 billion tonnes of CO².
Lisa Whelan, Environment Programme Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
“Peatlands are a fantastic resource and these restoration projects have multiple benefits to the environment. Work at the sites will include creating fire breaks and peat bunds, introduce new plant species, block ditches along with further initiatives to restore the peatlands.
Some projects will also serve as study sites for trials of innovative new restoration techniques. As well as having > a huge environmental benefit such as reducing greenhouse gases it will enhance habitats for wildlife.”