Cumbrian peat bog scheme in running for national prize
Last updated at 17:15, Friday, 02 March 2012
A £4 million peat bog project is in the running for a national climate change award.
Six years of work has seen vast areas of peat land restored in Cumbria and neighbouring counties by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) partnership.
Two hundred square kilometres of peat land has been improved by installing 100,000 peat dams to block moorland drains. Cross Fell, near Penrith, and Geltsdale are among the sites to benefit.
The project is a finalist in the Climate Week Awards. Judges, including Bianca Jagger and the Government’s chief climate scientist Sir Robert Watson, shortlisted it for the best local initiative award.
Project manager Paul Leadbitter said: “People often don’t realise these peat lands are Britain’s tropical rainforest. They are often overlooked because they are just not sexy. It’s a huge honour to be considered for this award alongside so many inspiring entries.”
It is up against a free insulation project in Sheffield, a carbon management programme in the north east and a council project to fit solar panels to homes in Nottingham.
The winner will be announced on March 12 at a London ceremony to mark the start of Climate Week.
Protecting peat bogs is seen as a major factor in tackling climate change.
Despite covering only three per cent of the world’s surface, peat stores twice the carbon that is locked away in forests. Degraded peat bogs account for about 10 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions.
The UK has 12 per cent of Europe’s peat lands, and almost 30 per cent of this is in the North Pennines.
There are thought to be 300 to 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide locked into the Pennine peat.
Mr Leadbitter added: “Peatland restoration has long been overlooked as a cost-effective sustainable climate change mitigation technique and we are thrilled to be recognised for our work.”
The AONB is also supporting a National Peat Survey, which aims to discover how much carbon is stored in the bogs.
Funding for the ongoing project comes primarily from Natural England and The Environment Agency. Private organisations also contribute.
First published at 14:10, Friday, 02 March 2012
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
- New landmark building planned for Botchergate in Carlisle (25 comments)
- Cumbrian garage owner selling up due to supermarket competition (11 comments)
- Damning report reveals distressing scenes at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary (72 comments)
- Talkin Tarn hotel for sale - again (2 comments)
- Carlisle United survey: Results in full (23 comments)